Clinical treatment in hospital
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Ms A complained about the care and treatment that her late father, Mr B, received during his admission to the University Hospital of Wales between 19 July and 13 August 2020. The Ombudsman commenced an investigation but was subsequently informed by the Health Board that medical and nursing records for the episode of care had been mislaid and, despite extensive searches, could not be found.
The Ombudsman regarded the loss of Mr B’s records as a concerning service failure which precluded the possibility of his conducting an investigation of Ms A’s complaint. The Ombudsman considered this an injustice to her and to her family and decided that it would be appropriate to discontinue Ms A’s complaint via a settlement. The Health Board subsequently agreed that, within 1 month, it would:
•Provide Ms A with a fulsome apology for the loss of the records
•Make a redress payment to Ms A of £1,000 in recognition of the injustice this matter gave rise to
•Provide the Ombudsman with an account of the loss of the records, the attempts made to locate them and any measures it is considering and/or intending to introduce to minimise and hopefully prevent loss of records in the future.
The Ombudsman considered that, in the circumstances, the Health Board’s actions were reasonable. Accordingly, he regarded Ms A’s complaint about the loss of records as settled.