Scandal of Britain's stay-at-home GPs Last updated at 12:05 AM on 28th January 2010 Dr Daniel Ubani, a German doctor who could barely speak English, killed a patient with a massive overdose during his first shift as an NHS stand-in Complaints about out-of-hours GPs up by more than half in two years... A German doctor, who can barely speak English, kills a patient with a massive overdose during his first shift as an NHS stand-in... Only two GPs on late call to cover all 1,500 square miles of Suffolk... A&E departments overwhelmed by patients whose own doctors are off duty... Such are the disastrous consequences of John Reid's mishandling of GPs' contracts during his brief stint as Health Secretary. Under his nonsensical deal, family doctors were given huge pay rises with the choice of opting out of the round-the-clock coverage offered by their profession through the ages. With partners earning an average £106,000, no wonder some 90 per cent choose not to work at night or weekends. So today we have the crazy spectacle of Primary Care Trusts paying inflated fees for flying in stand-ins of questionable skill from all over Europe, while in many areas no doctors at all are available. Parents are left frantic when their children fall sick outside office hours, while many elderly patients fear to call a jet-lagged foreigner who knows nothing about their case. How much longer must we live with the life-threatening fallout from Dr Reid's catastrophic blunder? Is it too much to expect group practices to draw up out-of-hours duty rotas - like workers in every other walk of life in which round-the-clock cover is needed? To their credit, the Tories have pledged to confront the BMA and make doctors take back responsibility for 24-hour care. If they come to power, it must be one of the first things they do.