Report Date


Case Against

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board


Clinical treatment in hospital

Case Reference Number



Upheld in whole or in part

Mrs B complained about the care and treatment provided to her by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (“the Health Board”).

The investigation considered whether there were failures in the care provided by the Health Board in relation to Mrs B’s gallbladder disease and silent reflux (when stomach contents come back up into the oesophagus to the larynx).

The Ombudsman found that the care and treatment provided to Mrs B in respect of her gallbladder disease was clinically appropriate.

In respect of Mrs B’s silent reflux, the Ombudsman found that there was a failure on the part of the Health Board to offer referral to a specialist unit for further investigations when she saw the NHS Gastroenterologist on 5 June 2019. As a consequence, Mrs B lost the choice to decide whether to proceed with private treatment or to be referred on the NHS for treatment. As no follow-up was arranged by the NHS Gastroenterologist, this meant that Mrs B had no alternative other than to proceed with impedance testing (a study to measure the movement of liquid up and down the oesophagus) and oesophageal manometry (a test to measure the pressure in the oesophagus and the valve separating the stomach and oesophagus) on a private basis in order to obtain a diagnosis, which she subsequently did in July 2019. The loss of choice about her treatment was considered to be an injustice to Mrs B and resulted in her funding tests privately. The Ombudsman partially upheld the complaint.

The Health Board agreed to provide Mrs B with a meaningful apology for the failures identified and to make a financial redress payment of £2300 for the impedance testing and oesophageal manometry carried out privately, in order for her to obtain a diagnosis.