Page last updated at 17:24 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

GP service contract not renewed

An out-of-hours GP provider, criticised after the death of a Cambridgeshire patient, has lost a contract to provide the service in Suffolk.

NHS Suffolk has decided not to renew its contract with Take Care Now (TCN).

The negligence of a German doctor working for TCN led to the death of a patient in February 2008.

NHS Cambridgeshire terminated its contract with TCN in November this year. NHS Suffolk has awarded the £6m contract to Harmoni HS Ltd.


Harmoni currently holds six NHS out-of-hours contracts nationally including the service for NHS North East Essex.

TCN is being investigated by the Care Quality Commission after the negligence of Dr Daniel Ubani led to the death of patient David Gray.

In a statement TCN "expressed disappointment at not having been re-awarded the contract to run the out-of-hours service for NHS Suffolk".

It added: "TCN will remain focused on the delivery of out-of-hours services until 31 March 2010 when the contract ends and will work to ensure seamless a transfer to the new provider."

'Robust and safe'

NHS Suffolk said it would be entering into a period of contract negotiation with the preferred provider to agree a five-year contract.

The service covers the whole of Suffolk with the exception of a practice in Bildeston, near Stowmarket, which has retained responsibility for its own patients out of hours.

Dr Andrew Hassan, medical director at NHS Suffolk, said: "The panel felt the arrangements of this provider for clinical governance were robust and safe.

"Harmoni has clearly demonstrated it has done significant work to engage local health providers.

"It was also clear from the bid that Harmoni had invested time to understand the particular health needs of the population of Suffolk."

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