Clinical treatment in hospital
Non-public interest report issued: complaint not upheld
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Mr B complained that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (“the Health Board”) failed to diagnose bowel cancel during multiple emergency hospital admissions from August to November 2019. He felt particularly that the Consultant who was mainly in charge of his treatment after his final admission in November should have diagnosed him earlier, given the previous tests results available to him. Mr B also complained that the Consultant was rude and dismissive, and that he thought Mr B was making his illness up due to mental health issues.
The Ombudsman found that the diagnosis of bowel cancer can be complex and can sometimes only be arrived at by eliminating other causes or diseases. He found that the tests, scans, and consultations carried out by the Health Board were appropriate. The Ombudsman found it was unfair to blame the delayed diagnosis solely on the one Consultant, as a number of other clinicians were also involved in treating Mr B. Although there was evidence to show that the Consultant had considered a psychiatric referral, this had not taken place and the medical records showed that the Consultant was prioritising tests to find a physical reason for Mr B’s symptoms. The Ombudsman therefore did not uphold Mr B’s complaint.