Clinical treatment in hospital
Upheld in whole or in part
Non-public interest report issued: complaint upheld
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Mrs X complained about the handling of her complaint by the Health Board. She also complained that her father (“Mr Y”) was not placed on an appropriate ward following his admission to the Hospital and that his dementia needs were not appropriately considered by the Health Board upon his admission to the Hospital. Thirdly, Mrs X complained that the standard of communication she had received from the Health Board was inadequate.
Mrs X’s complaint about the Health Board’s handling of her complaint was partly upheld. The investigation identified that an error by the Health Board led to a delay in providing Mrs X with a response to her complaint. The investigation also found that the Health Board’s response was insufficient and was lacking in substance.
In relation to Mrs X’s complaint that Mr Y was not placed on an appropriate ward following his admission to the Hospital and that his dementia needs were not appropriately considered by the Health Board, the Ombudsman found that there was a failure to assess Mr Y’s dementia needs upon his admission, however, he was initially placed on an appropriate ward. The investigation found that Mr Y should have been moved to a ward specialising in dementia care whilst he was a patient at the Hospital. The failure to do so led to several incidents of wandering and violence that could have been better managed on a dementia ward.
Mrs X’s complaint about the standard of communication was upheld as a promise of regular telephone conversations with Mrs X did not materialise. This led to an injustice to Mrs X and impacted her trust in the Health Board.
The Ombudsman recommended that the Health Board should provide Mrs X with a written apology and financial redress in recognition of the failures highlighted in the Ombudsman’s report. He also recommended that the Health Board reviews its procedure for assessing the needs of dementia sufferers who are admitted to hospital for other health conditions.