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GPs 'must see nurses' credentials'

Registration papers of nurses need to be more thoroughly checked by GPs, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has said.

Its statement follows the September arrest of a woman who, apparently not being qualified, was working as a nurse in Medway, Kent. The 46-year-old is said to have been posing as nurse for four years.

The council also said it may now write to GPs in light of a recent discovery that most doctors seem unaware that they are responsible for checking the credentials of any nurse on their books.

Four-fifths of the GPs attending a healthcare conference did not know they were supposed to ensure nurses were registered, the council pointed out.

A spokeswoman said: "Writing to GPs is something we are considering and that we are talking to the RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners) about. We recently engaged with GPs at the RCGP primary care annual conference and identified that eight out of 10 GPs we spoke with were unaware that they should be checking the registration of the nurses they employ."

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