An NHS trust is to carry out random checks on out-of-hours GPs in a move which could be adopted across the country.
NHS Cambridgeshire is introducing the measure as part of an overhaul of out-of-hours care in a bid to avoid a repeat of the case of Dr Daniel Ubani, a German-registered Nigerian doctor who administered a lethal dose of morphine to David Gray, 70, on his first shift in Britain.
Mr Gray, from Manea, Cambridgeshire, died in February 2008 after Dr Ubani gave him 10 times the normal dose of morphine and the case sparked a review of out-of-hours GP care.
A recent report criticised the trust for its poor monitoring of GPs and also said Mr Gray’s death could have been prevented if warnings over “systematic problems” with drug storage had not been ignored by GP provider Take Care Now in January 2008.
As well as random checks on GPs’ visits, including interviewing patients, the trust will also insist upon proper inductions of GPs to ensure they are up to the job.
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“I don’t see why out-of-hours providers of medical staff should not be subject to competency checks, it can only help to push up standards and ensure that out-of-hours employers have more stringent criteria for GPs that are treating the general public on their behalf” – Anne Care, West Midlands