Health firm loses contract after clinical negligence case
Private healthcare firm Take Care Now has lost its contract with the NHS in Cambridgeshire in response to concerns over clinical negligence in out-of-hours care.
The Guardian reports that the NHS took the decision following a series of inspections, which raised concerns that the company was proving unable to provide suitable cover during evenings and weekends.
These reviews were prompted by an incident which saw Cambridgeshire resident David Gray die from a painkiller overdose administered by a Take Care Now locum doctor from Germany.
Subsequently, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a report highlighting the “national problem” of substandard monitoring of out-of-hours care.
Cynthia Bower, CQC’s chief executive, said: “GP out-of-hours services provide vital care to people outside of normal surgery hours. As commissioners of these services, primary care trusts need to ensure people receive safe, quality care around the clock.”
The NHS has since conducted a nationwide patient safety review and will be looking to make changes to the UK’s provision of round-the-clock healthcare.
Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, a clinical negligence specialist at Ashtons Legal, comments: “Predictably the contracting out of out-of-hours GP services has caused standards to fall and led to an increase in compensation claims for those injured as a consequence of poor treatment.
“It is to be hoped that, in the best interests of patients, other trusts will follow suit”.
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