Anthony Collins lawyers represent David Gray family in foreign GP death inquest
City centre law firm Anthony Collins is starting a civil case that could change the way out-of-hours medical care is run.
One of the firm’s solicitors will be representing the family at the inquest of David Gray, who died following an overdose administered by an overseas doctor during an out-of-hours visit.
The family said they hoped the inquest, which was set to start on January 14, would lead to an improvement in regulation of foreign NHS workers.
Mr Gray, who was 70 and lived in Cambridgeshire, was visited by German on-call doctor Daniel Ubani, who gave him an injection of 100 mg of diamorphine, ten times the maximum dose of 10 mg usually recommended. Dr Ubani later admitted that he had no knowledge of the drug diamorphine. Mr Gray died within minutes.
Dr Ubani was on his first ever shift in the UK having arrived in the UK the day before to work for independent healthcare provider Take Care Now.
Due to communication breakdowns and misinformation between the English and German authorities, the extradition of Dr Ubani for trial in England for causing the death of Mr David Gray was refused.
He received a suspended sentence and costs of 5,000 euros by post, without being interviewed by the police.
Mr Gray’s family are pursuing civil action against Dr Ubani, the Cambridgeshire PCT and Take Care Now.
Inez Brown, from Anthony Collins, said: “This case has unearthed concerning aspects about the use of overseas doctors to deliver out-of-hours medical care in the UK. Of particular concern is the process for vetting the doctors beforehand, their level of training in comparison to the NHS, and the information and training given to ensure the safe use of medicines and controlled drugs like diamorphine.”
Mr Gray’s son, Dr Stuart Gray, from Kidderminster, said: “It is disappointing that, but for certain national media support, it is unlikely any further action would have been taken by the authorities responsible for the registration of doctors, the overseeing of the out-of-hours service and the implementation of the law. I feel we have been constantly hitting barriers in our fight to get heard and attempt to get changes made to the present system to make the out-of-hours service safer.
“There seems to be an endemic attitude of defensiveness, deflection of blame and evasion of responsibility and accountability for actions that pervades these organisations, and until there is a shift in these attitudes then, regrettably, I can see no effective changes for the improvement of patient safety in out-of-hours care occurring in the near future.”