A coroner has decided not to hold inquests into 13 deaths at a nursing home which were referred to him after a multi-agency review.

Birmingham Coroner Aidan Cotter said his investigation into the deaths in 2002 at the Maypole Nursing Home, in the Kings Heath area, had now been completed.

In a statement, Mr Cotter said: "I have found no evidence which would justify the hold-ing of an inquest touching all or some of these 13 deaths.

"There is reason to believe that the home was not run as well as one would have hoped, but the deficiencies are matters which should be dealt with by the authorities who are responsible for the control of nursing and residential homes and the authorities responsible for the professional behaviour of doctors, nurses and carers - not by me as Her Majesty's coroner."

Mr Cotter added that it was "entirely right" that the authorities had referred the deaths to him.

The deaths had already been investigated by West Midlands Police and considered by the Crown Prosecution Service.

They were satisfied that there was no evidence of any crime having been committed.

An investigation was also conducted by the South Birmingham Primary Care Trust, the Birmingham and Black Country Strategic Health Authority and by the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

Mr Cotter added: "There are other matters which could usefully be considered by a public inquiry, such as whether doctors should be allowed to have a financial interest in nursing homes or residential homes and the very late stage at which some patients are being transferred from hospitals to nursing homes, but these are not matters for an inquest to determine.

"I wish to make it clear that nobody at any time in any of their discussions with me or at any of the meetings which I have attended or in any of the documentation I have read has suggested that any of these deaths were caused deliberately or unlawfully."

He added: "I would like to express my sympathy to the families of those who have died - these lengthy inquiries must have caused them distress.

"I will, of course, be happy to consider any new evidence which anybody may wish to present to me."

The home, in Alcester Road South, closed in March 2003 following an unannounced inspection, which prompted the then National Care Standards Commission to raise "serious concerns" about the care it offered.