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New death certification is welcome but risks extra work for GPs, says BMA

BMJ 2023; 383 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.p2964 (Published 18 December 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;383:p2964
  1. Jane Feinmann
  1. London

The BMA has given a cautious welcome to changes to the process for certifying deaths in the community in England, designed “to prevent criminal activity and poor practice” and which is due to be introduced next April.

The health minister Maria Caulfield announced the publication of draft regulations for the new “safer system of death certification” on 14 December. She said the reform, which requires GPs to share records of patients who die from natural causes with their local medical examiner, would “protect and support bereaved families in the way they deserve.”

She added, “Although abuse of the system is rare, what we are announcing today will be a significant step in preventing failures in …

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