Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Ms K complained that Aneurin Bevan University Health Board failed to issue a complaint response regarding the care and treatment provided to her late mother. Ms K said that the next of kin provided consent over the telephone to the Health Board on the day she attended a meeting to discuss her concerns.
Ms K said that consent was provided by the next of kin, however, the Health Board said it had not been received. The Ombudsman has been unable to reconcile the two different accounts in a way which would allow her to reach a definitive finding. The Ombudsman found that the Health Board had not been clear about the consent issue throughout its dealings with Ms K. Prior to Ms K attending the meeting she had been informed that her complaint had been closed due to the Health Board not receiving the necessary consent from the next of kin. Ms K was subsequently incorrectly informed after attending the meeting that a complaint response would be provides, and the Health Board failed to notify Ms K that no response would be issued when it realised its error. She said this caused uncertainty and frustration to Ms K. She decided to settle the complaint without an investigation.
The Ombudsman sought and gained the Health Board’s agreement to apologise to Ms K for the confusion and agreed to issue a complaint response if the necessary consent is received within 2 weeks.