Clinical treatment in hospital
Powys Teaching Health Board
Mrs X complained about the care provided to her husband Mr X, by an English NHS Trust (“the Trust”). The Ombudsman was satisfied that the Health Board had a legal responsibility for Mr X’s care as a resident of Powys who was registered with a GP in Powys. Taking into account cross border arrangements in place between the Health Board and the Trust regarding provision of care and complaint handling obligations (“Putting Things Right” (PTR) the complaints handling regulations in Wales), the Ombudsman was concerned that the complaints arrangements were not properly implemented and the Health Board was not given an opportunity to consider the care provided (it was not notified by the Trust of Mrs X’s complaint).
The Health Board agreed to undertake the following action, within 30 working days of the date of the decision:
• Commission an independent expert advice / review of the care provided to Mr X and if this identifies that Qualifying Liability (whether harm has been suffered as a result of a breach of duty of care) exists, to deal with the complaint under the PTR Redress requirements
• Review the complaints handling undertaken by the Trust to ensure that it was in keeping with its own complaints’ procedure and equitable with PTR and any requirements about complaints handling stipulated in the commissioning arrangement with the Trust
The Ombudsman considered that the action which the Health Board said it would take was reasonable and a proportionate approach to resolving the complaint. The complaint was therefore closed on this basis.