Lessons learned after GP 'unlawfully kills' patient

SUFFOLK: Health bosses today claimed extra safeguards have been brought in to the county's out-of-hours service since the death of a man in Cambridgeshire at the hands of a doctor.

Naomi Cassidy

SUFFOLK: Health bosses today claimed extra safeguards have been brought in to the county's out-of-hours service since the death of a man in Cambridgeshire at the hands of a doctor.

NHS Suffolk, the primary care trust, moved to reassure patients after a coroner recorded a verdict of “unlawful killing” in the case of David Gray, who was given a lethal overdose by a “insufficient and inadequate” overseas locum.

Dr Daniel Ubani had been employed by Take Care Now (TCN), which also has the contract to run out-of-hours services in Suffolk.

In a damning conclusion to the ten-day inquest, the coroner described Dr Ubani, 67, as “incompetent and not of an acceptable standard”.

He went on to say he was “tired out” when he started work on February 16, 2008 - the day he gave Mr Gray a lethal overdose of diamorphine.

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Following the inquest, an NHS Suffolk spokesman said: “Important lessons were learned immediately following the tragic events of February 2008.

“Extra safeguards were introduced then by TCN, our main out-of-hours provider, working very closely with NHS Suffolk. We will implement any detailed recommendations from the coroner immediately.”

At the end of last year, NHS Suffolk announced that the new contract starting in April will be run by a different provider, Harmoni HS Ltd.

The spokesman added: “We are confident the service in Suffolk is safe, and will continue to be so with our new out-of-hours provider [from April], Harmoni, which has an excellent safety record in the UK.”

Mr Gray's family have called for Dr Ubani to face trial in the UK after a coroner said the death amounted to manslaughter.

A spokesman for TCN said: “Several aspects of our service have already been improved, lessons have been learned and where it has been within our power, we have taken prompt action.

“We are justifiably confident in our ability to deliver good quality care when GP surgeries are closed.”