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Independents' Day

How Shipman has changed us forever

Harold Shipman was found hanged last week four days after his old surgery closed for good ­ Craig Kenny reports

Harold Shipman's murders 'changed British medicine forever', according to the RCGP council chair.

Professor David Haslam said the outcome of the Shipman Inquiry, due in the summer, would have 'a profound effect on every doctor in the UK'.

The inquiry is set to recommend major reforms to the GMC and increased monitoring and scrutiny of GPs. It has already proposed changes to death and cremation certification.

Unpublished research has also found many GPs had stopped carrying controlled drugs, partly as a result of Shipman's crimes.

Professor Richard Baker, professor of clinical governance at the University of Leicester and the academic who audited Shipman's clinical practice for the inquiry, said the GPs in Leicester found patients had become more anxious about doctors carrying the drugs.

Dr Jeffrey Moysey, a GP in Hyde, said many doctors in the town had also stopped carrying controlled drugs.

'As soon as the Shipman case came about, a lot of GPs gave up, especially in an urban environment,' Dr Moysey added.

Professor Haslam said the response of Shipman's victims' families to his death had been heartbreaking.

'Our hearts go out to them,' he added.

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