Clinical negligence case prompts out-of-hours care concerns

  • Posted

Posted 15/01/2010

An inquest into a clinical negligence case in Cambridgeshire has prompted fresh concerns about the quality of care afforded to out-of-hours patients.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is involved in a review into the medical cover offered to UK patients when the local GP is off duty in response to the death of Manea resident David Gray.

Mr Gray was killed by an accidental overdose of painkiller administered by German locum doctor Daniel Ubani, an incident which Steve Field, president of the RCGP, said reflected poorly on everyone involved.

He told BBC Newsnight that the case has exposed a “multiple systems failure” on behalf of the primary care trust, locum agency and out-of-hours provider Take Care Now.

The Care Quality Commission launched its own enquiry into patient safety last year in response to the incident, stating that the issue represents a “national problem”.

Mr Field added: “The whole thing was appalling and we need to learn lessons from that and I believe we are doing now.”

Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, a clinical negligence specialist at Ashtons Legal, said: “The out-of-hours expert service has led to an increase in claims and of course that means a very real human cost in poor outcomes.

“Patients would like GPs to take back this responsibility.”


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