Clinical treatment in hospital
Upheld in whole or in part
Non-public interest report issued: complaint upheld
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Ms X complained that Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board (“the Health Board”) failed to discuss the cost of treatment/surgery with her father, Mr Y, a UK citizen resident overseas, and/or his family, before his treatment/surgery to ensure that he and/or his family was fully informed of all costs involved and given an appropriate timescale to make an informed decision. Ms X also complained that the Health Board failed to handle her complaint appropriately and failed to provide an adequate response.
The investigation found that Mr Y was liable to pay for his care and treatment as he was not ordinarily resident in the UK. On the balance of probabilities, it was more likely than not that Mr Y and/or his family were informed in the ED that Mr Y might need to pay for his care and treatment. His emergency surgery was not exempt from charges as his treatment was provided after he had been admitted to a ward and not while he was in the ED. The investigation found that although Mr Y was not visited by the Overseas Administration Team before his surgery it would not have been appropriate to delay his surgery, which was the only option. Therefore, this aspect of the complaint was not upheld. However, the investigation found that the Health Board did not provide Ms X with an adequate response to her complaint and did not handle her complaint appropriately. Therefore, this aspect of the complaint was upheld.
The Health Board agreed to provide Ms X with a written apology and make a payment of £250 in recognition of the avoidable time and trouble of bringing her complaint to the Ombudsman.