Out-of-hours care under scrutiny after patient dies due to wrong dose of medication


A 70 year old man died last year after a German doctor providing out-of-hours cover for the NHS in Cambridgeshire prescribed an accidental overdose of diamorphine.

The painkiller was administered at 10 times the correct dosage. Systemic failures as well as negligence on the part of the doctor have been highlighted by this case.

The Out-of-Hours company providing cover trained the doctor just 24 hours before the fatal misprescription and the doctor was confused between 2 drugs, one of which was unavailable in Germany.

This case is now under investigation by the newly formed Care Quality Commission.

While the doctor has received a 9 month suspended prison sentence in his native Germany and has been suspended from working in Britain, he remains free to practise in Germany.

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