Report Date

02/13/2024

Case Against

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Subject

Clinical treatment outside hospital; GP

Case Reference Number

202204525

Outcome

Not Upheld

Mrs C complained about the care and management her late husband, Mr A, received from the GP Surgery (“the Surgery”) between May and November 2021. The Ombudsman investigated whether there were unacceptable delays in making appointments and telephone consultations for Mr A between May 2021 and 23 November 2021, and whether the quality of the assessment Mr A underwent on 10 August 2021 was appropriate and whether an alternative diagnosis of cancer should have been considered at that time.

Mrs C also complained about the care and treatment Mr A received from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (“the Health Board”). The Ombudsman investigated whether it was appropriate to downgrade Mr A’s “urgent suspected cancer” (“USC”) referral made by the Surgery on 8 September 2021 to “urgent”, and whether there was an unacceptable delay in the Health Board’s response to Mrs C’s complaint and to her attempts to chase the response.

The investigation found that delays in making appointments and telephone consultations for Mr A between May 2021 and 23 November 2021 were unavoidable due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a telephone system that could not cope with the unprecedented demand, the quality of the 2 assessments Mr A underwent on 10 August and 7 September 2021 were appropriate and there was no reason to suspect cancer during the first assessment, downgrading Mr A’s USC referral following the second assessment was appropriate and in-line with national guidelines, and although the delay in the Health Board responding to Mrs C’s complaint was not in keeping with national guidance, she was, overall, regularly updated. The Health Board apologised to Mrs C for the delay.
The Ombudsman did not uphold Mrs C’s complaint.