Pattaya Daily News

04 February 2010 :: 13:02:07 pm 12288

German Doctor of Death Cannot Be Charged in the UK

Cambridgeshire 4th February 2010 [PDN] A verdict into the deaths of two patients treated by an overseas Doctor on his first NHS shift is due to be given by coroner William Morris.
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The nine day inquest has heard evidence n raising concerns over out of hours GP cover after two patients died. The first patient David Gray, [70] from Cambridshire died in 2008 from an overdose  (ten times the recommended daily allowance) of diamorphine, a painkiller after being seen by Dr Daniel Ubani a German medic. The second death was Iris Edwards,[86] who died of a heart attack, but whose case was not part of the criminal enquiry as experts say she was inappropriately treated and should have been sent to a hospital.

 
 
Dr Ubani whose contract has now been terminated was working for the Take Care Now Company which runs the NHS out of hours service in Cambridgeshire and had only arrived in the country the day before. A ninth month prison sentence was given by the German authorities in April 2009 suspended for two years and ordered to pay a fine of 5000 euros for causing death by negligence. He continues to practice as a cosmetic surgeon in the West German town of Witten.
 
Mr. Gray’s partner Lynda Bubb told the hearing how the Doctor appeared tired as he administered the lethal injection which caused the death of Mr. Gray. The 10 day inquest is also examining the death of another of Dr Ubani’s patients Iris Edwards [86] who lived in a care home and died of a heart attack the day after she was treated by the 67 year old Doctor
 
The German conviction means he can not be extradited to face more serious charges in the UK. In a letter to the son of Mr. Gray, Dr Ubani said he was not familiar with diamorphine as it was not routinely prescribed by Doctors in Germany. 
 
A report by the Care Quality Commission raised further issues about out of hours care and warned that Take Care Now were failing to properly monitor services. It said variations in performance suggests it could be a nationwide problem with trusts using a range of ways for covering weekend and evenings including employing private firms to run the service and in some places foreign Doctors have been used to cover shifts.

European legislation means Doctors are free to work in different parts of the EU and are subject to less stringent checks than other foreign Doctors arriving in the UK. The son of Mr. Gray’s son who is himself a GP, said, “The circumstances concerning the tragic death of our Father have highlighted numerous systemic failures in both the UK and German health system as well as a deficiency in current European law. Although we can’t bring back our Father, we can use the lessons learnt from this tragedy in a constructive manner to make it safer for others by ensuring changes are made to rectify these serious inadequacies and failings.”
 
The Department of Health has carried out its own review of out of hours care in England and is expected to issue a series of recommendation for improving the service after the verdict.  The British Medical Board Association has warned of the starvation of funds to the service and different procedures are being used to scrutinize Doctors.

 

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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