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Systematic failings at OOH GP firm

15th July 2010

The NHS regulator has criticised the “systematic” failings of an out-of-hours care provider in an area where a 70-year-old man died after being given an overdose of painkillers.

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The Care Quality Commission said the NHS should learn from the case which saw David Gray from Manea, Cambridgeshire, killed in February 2008 by Dr Daniel Ubani, a German medic working his first NHS shift for Take Care Now (TCN).

The now-defunct firm was criticised for failing to act on previous cases and warnings on standards.

After it emerged that Mr Gray was given 10 times the normal dose of diamorphine, national attention focused on weekend and night GP cover.

TCN was criticised by the regulator for failing to investigate and learn from two previous cases of diamorphine overdoses – both by German doctors - prior to Mr Gray's death and it emerged it was also warned by one of its own doctors that it was only a matter of time before a patient was killed.

CQC chairman Dame Jo Williams said: "Take Care Now failed on many fronts. The lessons of its failure must resonate across the health service."

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said the steps outlined in a White Paper to give GPs more responsibility for running services would lead to improvements and that out of hours care was in need of "urgent reform".

German medical authorities have indicated they intend to bring Dr Ubani before disciplinary hearings. He has already been struck off the medical register in the UK but can still work in Germany.

 

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