Contract doctor gave fatal overdose

Guardian: Exhausted relief doctor gave patient fatal dose

This is about how a doctor working for an NHS contractor gave a 70-year-old patient a fatal overdose of diamorphine (heroin), apparently due to lacking concentration due to having only had three hours of sleep before starting his shift and having to make a circumnavigation of East Anglia during the night, on the “wrong” side of the road and without a navigation system. Even taking into account the fact that most of the roads he would have had to use were dual carriageways, I can well believe that NHS contractors (this company was a subcontractor of a subcontractor) are requiring people to work in unreasonable and stressful conditions to keep costs down, as I have personally done home deliveries for a contractor in London, and I’ve never had a delivery round which lasted less than twelve hours despite a quoted finishing time of much less than that. These sorts of disasters will go on until those who run the NHS realise that profit-making companies only care about the bottom line, not about quality or anything else that cannot be measured in pounds and pence.

More here and you can read the doctor’s apology letter (forwarded to the family) here.

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