Clinical treatment in hospital
Upheld in whole or in part
Non-public interest report issued: complaint upheld
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Mr Y complained that the Health Board did not carry out reasonable investigations during or following his son’s (Mr X’s) inpatient stay in January 2020, which resulted in a delay in the diagnosis of Mr X’s cancer. Mr Y also complained that the Health Board did not carry out reasonable investigations in October 2020, which also resulted in a delay in the diagnosis of Mr X’s cancer.
The investigation found that the Health Board’s investigations into Mr X’s symptoms in January 2020 were of a reasonable standard and that there was nothing to suggest an opportunity to diagnose bowel cancer had been missed. However, the investigation found failings in the Health Board’s approach to Mr X’s symptoms in October 2020, as he was twice discharged without receiving an appropriate level of care. This resulted in Mr X seeking assistance from the private health sector. Nevertheless, the investigation concluded that an appropriate approach by the Health Board at the time would not have led to a better outcome, as Mr X’s cancer was sadly already advanced.
The Ombudsman upheld Mr Y’s complaint that the Health Board did not carry out reasonable investigations into Mr X’s symptoms in October 2020. The Health Board agreed to the Ombudsman’s recommendations to apologise to Mr Y for the failings identified and to refund £823, comprising the cost Mr X spent accessing treatment privately. The Health Board also agreed to carry out a review to identify and apply lessons learned, and to circulate and highlight appropriate guidance amongst clinicians.