Health board to apologise over failings

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.

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Health board to apologise over failings
Health board to apologise over failings

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

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