Clinical treatment in hospital
Non-public interest report issued: complaint not upheld
Swansea Bay University Health Board
Mrs H complained that the Health Board failed to provide appropriate care and treatment for her broken wrist, and the clinicians treating her did not appropriately address the concerns she raised about her treatment.
The Ombudsman noted that Mrs H’s injury occurred during the
COVID-19 pandemic, when guidelines were in place limiting surgery to lifesaving procedures. The Ombudsman found that the initial management of Mrs H’s broken wrist was appropriate, and that it would have been reasonable, even in normal times, not to operate. The Ombudsman also found no evidence that Mrs H’s wrist joint was pushed out of position when it was being replastered, as she believed. The Ombudsman considered it was possible that the plaster was applied too tightly, causing poor oxygen supply and damage to tissues, but that it was not possible to establish what happened from the available evidence, and the Ombudsman noted that Mrs H’s residual symptoms could also have another cause. The Ombudsman found that given the context of the pandemic, it was appropriate that Mrs H was required to remove her own plaster, and also that the care provided by a Consultant Surgeon who saw her 7 months after her injury was appropriate. The Ombudsman did not uphold the complaint.