Consultants at Glan Clwyd Hospital showed a “disturbing lack of urgency” in treating the needs of a patient diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer, the Ombudsman, Nick Bennett, has found.

It is the third public interest report the Ombudsman has issued relating to the hospital in the past two months.

Mr D (anonymised) was diagnosed with the cancer in July 2014. Despite Welsh Government guidelines stating patients newly diagnosed with cancer should start their treatment within 31 days, Mr D had to wait more than four times over the guidelines. Not only were there delays in conducting diagnostic investigations, but also in scheduling of Mr D’s surgery.

The Ombudsman also criticised the way that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board dealt with the subsequent complaint surrounding his care, stating it would have “significantly intensified the level of distress and anxiety that Mr D would have been experiencing.”

The Health Board agreed to a number of recommendations including a full written apology and a review of its Urology Service’s compliance with Welsh Government guidance.

Nick Bennett, Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, said:

“In this particular case there was a disturbing lack of urgency in which referrals between consultants across the Health Board’s various hospital sites were conducted.

“There appears to have been a systemic failure to recognise and respond to the fact that Mr D was suffering with an aggressive, potentially life-threatening form of prostate cancer that required urgent and radical treatment.

“I have seen nothing in the Health Board’s response to my investigation that could justify such a disquieting failure.

“My office will be following up to ensure the agreed recommendations are complied with as soon as is practically possible.”