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SHA reports concerns over OOH provision

By Nigel Praities

NHS managers have reported new concerns over their out of hours provider, after the death of a patient in the care of a German doctor highlighted failings in the service.

NHS East of England has reported ‘new issues of concern' to the Department of Health and the Care Quality Commission over the OOH provider, Take Care Now.

David Gray died in February 2008 after being given a 100mg dose of diamorphine by a Dr Daniel Ubani, who was employed by OOH provider Take Care Now

Following the case, The CQC is currently undertaking a full investigation into the care provided by Take Care Now and will take into account this new evidence.

Dr Paul Cosford, regional director of public health at the SHA, said it asked the CQC to carry out a full investigation into Take Care Now and their provision of OOH services to areas in the east of England.

‘We remain in discussion with PCTs to ascertain their views on what alternative arrangements for OOH services they could make if necessary to ensure the continuation of a safe service. These conversations are ongoing,' he said.

Health minister Ben Bradshaw revealed the development in a parliamentary debate on OOH services where he defended the safety of OOH services.

‘The quality of out-of-hours services is monitored and assured a number of ways: first, primary care trusts have clear legal responsibilities to provide safe, high-quality out-of-hours services; and, secondly, strategic health authorities act as performance managers.

‘East of England strategic health authority informed me this morning that it had discovered new issues of concern about Take Care Now—the provider of the services in the case in question—and its performance that predate the Dr. Ubani case.

‘The SHA is now reviewing, with the PCTs concerned, its previous decision to continue to use TCN services, pending the outcome of the Care Quality Commission investigation,' he said.

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