Appointment procedures (including outpatients)
Upheld in whole or in part
Non-public interest report issued: complaint upheld
Swansea Bay University Health Board
Mrs A complained about the care she received from the Health Board, in particular that she had to wait an unacceptably long time for orthopaedic surgery when taking account of her clinical need, and the impact her condition was having on her daily life. She also complained that a review of her condition should have occurred sooner, so any deterioration could have been taken into account in determining her priority for surgery.
The investigation found significant deficiencies in the Health Board’s delivery of orthopaedic services, which caused Mrs A an injustice, due to the time she waited for her treatment and the pain and inconvenience she experienced. This aspect of the complaint was therefore upheld. However, the investigation also found that although the X-rays arranged to re-assess Mrs A’s categorisation for surgery took place outside the target period of 8 weeks, this was not unreasonable, given that the time period spanned the Christmas break and COVID-19 restrictions contributed to the delay. The second aspect was not upheld.
The Health Board agreed to the Ombudsman’s recommendations to apologise to Mrs A for the service failure identified in this report. It also agreed to pay Mrs A £500 in recognition of the injustice and distress caused to her by its failure to explore solutions to its known waiting list position sooner, and for her time and trouble in pursuing this complaint.