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An inquest into the death of a patient of Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust, who had been given 10 times the maximum dose of diamorphine by a locum doctor, is due to begin today.
Patient David Gray had been treated by Daniel Ubani, a Nigerian doctor who holds a German passport, with a drug the doctor had never used before. Doctor Ubani had originally been hired by the Cimarron Locum agency and has a very limited command of English.
The General Medical Council must approve all locums, but it only certifies that they have been trained in their country of origin, and does not check their English or expertise. Some primary care trusts do not carry out any further checks, The daily Telegraph reports.
Speaking on BBC2's Newsnight, Health Minister Mike O'Brien, said that "the vast majority of out of hours doctors are doing a good job. There are some cases where we need to ensure that the rules are tightened up and we will."
"I have got a report which I am ready to publish after we have had this inquest which shows that there are significant problems with the out of hours service", he added.