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Latest 16 April 2020

COVID-19 deaths

Matt Hancock: Report the true death toll from COVID-19.

UPDATE: The Hospital Trust has now ordered an inquiry into death certificates issued in the last 3 weeks and withdrawn the faulty guidance that stated COVID-19 didn’t need to be reported on death certificates. You can read the Hospital Trust’s response to our legal action here.

We have no way of knowing whether this faulty guidance is an isolated incident or part of a wider problem, but it is essential we find out. Those planning the UK response to the crisis need correct figures. Families need to know what happened to their loved ones. We need the truth to hold the Government to account.

Will you sign the petition and call on Matt Hancock to take action to ensure all suspected deaths from COVID-19 are recorded?

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Here is the initial information about this case:

Leaked guidance from an NHS hospital trust reveals that doctors are not being required to report COVID-19 as the cause of death for patients. Here’s what the guidance says:

‘Doctors are asked to use the standard MCCD (Medical Certificate of Cause of Death) form to certify death. ‘Pneumonia ‘or ‘community acquired pneumonia’ are acceptable at 1(a) on the MCCD. There is no requirement to write COVID 19 as part of the MCCD. It may be mentioned at 1(b) on the form, should the doctor wish.’

The guidance can be seen here. The Good Law Project has instructed a legal team to write a letter to the hospital trust to ask them to withdraw this guidance urgently. You can read the letter here. 

The government’s daily figures for the number of deaths from COVID-19 are based on what is reported on death certificates. If doctors are not required to write COVID-19 anywhere on the death certificate, then we have no way of knowing if those figures are correct.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock needs to act to ensure all COVID-19 deaths are recorded and reported properly. He should investigate what advice is being given out to doctors by all hospital trusts.