A cancer patient underwent an unnecessary prostatectomy after health staff failed to accurately diagnose his cancer, an Ombudsman investigation has found.

Miss Y (anonymised) complained on behalf of her partner, Mr X, (anonymised) that staff at Royal Gwent Hospital:

  • Failed to accurately diagnose Mr X’s cancer between February and June 2018
  • This inaccurate diagnosis meant Mr X was not in full possession of the facts about his health to enable him to make an informed decision about future treatment (including sourcing any alternative treatment options).
  • The delay in accurate diagnosis (made in December 2018) impacted adversely on his quality of life.

An investigation upheld Miss Y’s complaint and found staff overlooked that Mr X’s pelvic lymph nodes were enlarged. Mr X was told that his cancer was organ-confined and therefore underwent an avoidable prostatectomy which led to him suffering with the debilitating side effects of surgery affecting his quality of life.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board has agreed to a number of recommendations including a full apology to Miss Y and Mr X for the identified failings and a redress payment of £5000 to Mr X for the failings in his care.

Commenting on the report, Nick Bennett, Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, said:

“My investigation found that Mr X was not in possession of the full facts to make an informed decision about his treatment.

“While his overall prognosis is unlikely to have been significantly altered, he has sadly suffered with the debilitating effects of a surgery that he needn’t have gone ahead with.  This is a gross injustice.

“It is imperative the Health Board learns from this to ensure the same mistakes are not repeated, and my office will be following up to ensure it complies with my recommendations.”

To read the report, click here.