Report Date

04/23/2024

Case Against

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board

Subject

Clinical treatment in hospital

Case Reference Number

202308472

Outcome

Early resolution

Ms A complained that the Health Board failed to properly investigate and address all aspects of her complaint including the management and care her mother received during her inpatient stay at the Hospital. Ms A’s concerns included her mother not being given adequate pain relief and a buzzer not being left to enable her to call for assistance. Ms A also raised concerns about nursing staff verbally abusing her mother and also referred to a subsequent “intimidating” telephone call in which she said she was threatened with counter-complaints being made against her mother when she confirmed that she was going ahead with her complaint.

The Ombudsman concluded that based on the action taken by the Health Board, nothing more could be achieved or that it would be proportionate to investigate the clinical aspect of Ms A’s complaint. In relation to the issues around staff behaviour/contact, again, it was decided an investigation would not be proportionate or reasonable given the absence of independent corroborative evidence, it would be difficult to reach any firm findings in the event that this information was disputed and with the passage of time it would be difficult to prove/establish what was and was not said making it difficult to reach meaningful findings.

The Ombudsman was critical of the Health Board’s handling of Ms A’s complaint given the failure to address Ms A’s concerns. This meant that she was denied the opportunity to have her concerns considered and investigated in a timely manner and that opportunities for the Health Board to learn lessons in terms of complaint handling in Ms A’s case were missed.

As part of an early resolution the Health Board agreed to apologise to Ms A for not responding fully to all aspects of her complaint and pay her a sum of £150 for the time and trouble and the inconvenience in having to pursue her complaint further. The Health Board was asked to review its complaint handling and identify any lessons that could be learned and share these both with Ms A and this office.