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This is certainly not the coroner-virus



I discovered today there is a part of the UK that is totally Covid-free. Unfortunately, at the moment, it is inhabited by a very exclusive group known to most of us as the senior coroners in London

Yes, it must be true, because following the open letter sent by this highly esteemed group, it is very obvious they are not going through the same nightmare as the rest of us.

Their open letter, dated 14 April, states: ‘Verification of death can be done by ANY “suitably qualified” person. It doesn’t have to be a doctor. This includes: Nursing home staff, nurses or paramedics and in the current situation, a funeral director or family member.’

The letter then goes on to conclude: ‘The senior coroners in London are in agreement that the verification of death should be undertaken by a healthcare professional who has undertaken the appropriate training. In the majority of areas this is restricted to doctors, nurses and paramedics.’

They have shown themselves up as out-of-touch, narrow-thinking, petty-minded bureaucrats

It is hard to think of a better way a group of what should be colleagues fighting on the same side, could show themselves up as the out-of-touch, narrow-thinking, petty-minded bureaucrats they clearly are.

If I understand correctly what they are saying in their communique, they are advising that when a death occurs in a nursing home and there is not a nurse on duty who has undertaken ‘appropriate training’ a GP must attend a potentially Covid-infected environment merely to confirm somebody is dead.

I am not sure how many of these coroners are medically trained and of the ones that are, when they last did any clinical work, but confirmation of death really, really does not need to involve a doctor.

However, as they seem so keen, perhaps those amongst the coronial team with MBChB after their names would like to volunteer to go out and do it themselves?

Dr David Turner is a GP in North West London