8th May 2009
By Vivienne Russell
The new health and social care watchdog is to probe the out-of-hours services provided by private company Take Care Now.
The Care Quality Commission is mounting an inquiry into the health care provider following concerns over the death of 70-year-old David Gray in 2008.
Gray died after being given a lethal dose of diamorphine by Dr Daniel Ubani, a German doctor employed by Take Care Now.
The company was contracted by NHS Cambridgeshire to provide out-of-hours GP services.
Ubani has been given a nine-month suspended sentence in Germany for negligence over Gray’s death.
Christine Braithwaite, head of investigations and enforcement at the CQC, said: ‘This is a deeply disturbing case and one that must be thoroughly looked into. We have to ensure that any lessons are learnt.
‘We are aware of a number of concerns in relation to out-of-hours care provided by Take Care Now to the NHS.’
She added that the commission would be ‘looking into these issues to ensure that the interests and safety of patients are properly safeguarded’.
Chris Banks, chief executive of NHS Cambridgeshire, said: ‘We place patient safety as our number one priority and have carried out a robust internal investigation into the actions of this doctor and the out-of-hours service provider and the processes that led to this tragedy.’