Clinical treatment in hospital
Non-public interest report issued: complaint not upheld
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Mr A complained that the Health Board failed to diagnose his skin cancer in a timely manner and that this delay caused the cancer to worsen and spread.
The Ombudsman’s investigation found that, at the time Mr A was referred to the Health Board by his GP, it had been reasonable to conclude that, based on the referral information provided, Mr A had a basal cell carcinoma (a common form of skin cancer that slowly develops in the upper layers of the skin) and to manage it as such using the low-risk cancer pathway.
When Mr A was reviewed by the Health Board’s dermatology clinic in person, a biopsy was taken which identified a stage 3 nodular malignant melanoma (a fast-growing type of skin cancer) and his care was appropriately expedited in a timely manner. Although there was a delay informing Mr A of his diagnosis, the Ombudsman accepted advice from his professional adviser that it was unlikely that this delay resulted in an adverse clinical outcome for Mr A. The complaint was therefore not upheld.