Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust
Mr A complained about the delay before his father, Mr B, was attended to by an Emergency Ambulance following a fall outside his home. On admission to hospital, further investigations established that Mr B had broken his hip. Sadly, Mr B was never fit enough to have surgery to repair his broken hip as he developed pneumonia and died 12 days later.
The Trust’s own investigation of Mr A’s complaint identified an avoidable delay of 55 minutes before Mr B was attended to by an Emergency Ambulance. The Trust subsequently issued Mr A with an interim complaint response advising him how to access free legal advice under the NHS redress scheme with a view to joint instruction of an independent expert to determine whether Mr B had suffered harm as a result of failings in his care, and compensation was owed. Mr A did not reply to the Trust’s interim complaint response before escalating the matter to the Ombudsman.
During the evidence gathering stage of the the Ombudsman’s investigation, independent professional advice obtained suggested that the onset of Mr B’s pneumonia may have been attributable to the delayed Emergency Ambulance. The evidence was shared with the Trust and it agreed to re-issue its interim response to Mr A and to repeat the offer of free legal advice to determine the issue of causation. The Ombudsman settled Mr A’s complaint against the Trust based on that agreement.