Clinical treatment in hospital
Non-public interest report issued: complaint not upheld
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Mrs A complained about the care given to her by Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board. She said that the Health Board had not advised her not to have surgery to remove a polyp (growth) from her small bowel (“the Surgery”) because of the infection risk associated with it. She stated that it had discharged her from hospital prematurely, and without antibiotics, after the Surgery. She also said that it did not give her the follow-up care that she needed after her discharge from hospital.
The Ombudsman did not find that the Health Board should have advised Mrs A not to have the Surgery because of the infection risk associated with it for several reasons. He accepted, for example, that Mrs A’s polyp, if not removed, could have caused a blockage in her small bowel and increased her cancer risk. He found that the timing of Mrs A’s discharge from hospital was clinically reasonable. He was also satisfied that it was not clinically necessary or appropriate for the Health Board to prescribe antibiotics for Mrs A at that point. He accepted that some of the follow-up care that Mrs A received was not as good as it should have been for 2 reasons. Firstly, Mrs A’s Consultant Surgeon (“the Surgeon”) did not review her personally during a period in which her GP Practice had expressed concerns about her wound. Secondly, the Surgeon took approximately 8 months to perform further surgery after identifying that Mrs A needed it to address her wound-related difficulties. However, the Ombudsman recognised that those deficiencies occurred after the onset of the COVID-19 (an infectious disease caused by a new virus) pandemic (the worldwide spread of a new disease), which significantly limited the capacity of health bodies, such as the Health Board, to treat patients with conditions other than COVID-19. He found that the follow-up care that Mrs A received was reasonable. He did not uphold any part of Mrs A’s complaint.