A HEALTH board has been ordered to apologise to a widow whose husband died of cancer weeks after a catalogue of failings in his treatment.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, Jim Martin, has upheld four complaints against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in relation to the treatment of a prostate cancer sufferer known only as Mr C.

In his report, Mr Martin reveals Mrs C alleges nurses at Glasgow's Gartnavel Hospital told her late husband that 'if he wanted better treatment he should go to a private hospital'.

He was later given antibiotics to which it was known he was allergic.

Mr C had suffered from prostate cancer for 11 years when he died on July 30, 2011.

Mr Martin upheld complaints including:

l Staff failed to provide adequate pain relief;

l Staff failed to ensure an adequate home care package was in place on discharge from hospital;

l Communication between staff and Mr C's family was inadequate;

l Out-of-hours GPs failed to adequately assess Mr C.

In February 2011, Mr C had been left in pain and in a wet bed at the Western Infirmary.

On June 29, 2011, Mr C was readmitted to hospital, this time Gartnavel. He was fitted with a large catheter which caused him pain and he asked for a smaller one.

When discharged on July 15, he was not given antibiotics as it was a holiday weekend.

Mr Martin's report adds: "On arriving home, Mr C had a temperature and out-of-hours doctors were called on three occasions over the weekend. Antibiotics were prescribed (once he was given penicillin, to which he had a known allergy)."

The ombudsman made seven recommendations to the health board, including that it:

l Apologise for shortcomings in regards to the pain caused by the catheter fitted to Mr C;

l Emphasise to staff the importance of keeping full and timely notes;

l Apologise for failing to make arrangements for Mr C's care on his discharge from hospital;

l And apologise for poor communication.

The health board's director of nursing for the acute division, Rory Farrelly, said: "We fully accept that in this case there were lessons to be learned from this family's experience."

stef.lach@ heraldandtimes.co.uk