Upheld in whole or in part
Non-public interest report issued: complaint upheld
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Mrs P complained on behalf of her late husband, Mr P, about Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (“the Health Board”) and a GP Practice (“the Practice”) in the same health board area. Mrs P complained about the Health Board’s handling of her complaint about the service provided by the Practice. Mrs P also complained about the treatment and care provided to Mr P by the Practice from February 2021 onwards. She said that the Practice failed to provide a consultation with a doctor when her husband presented with neurological symptoms on 17 February. Mrs P said that this caused a 7-week delay before her husband was referred for specialist review and his terminal cancer was diagnosed. The Ombudsman found that the Health Board handled Mrs P’s complaint appropriately and did not uphold this part of the complaint. The Ombudsman also found that Mr P should have had an urgent physical examination when his symptoms appeared to change. However, the Practice did not carry this out and this likely led to a delay in Mr P’s brain tumour being diagnosed. Despite this delay, Mr P’s prognosis would not have changed as the tumour was already large and had spread extensively. The Ombudsman upheld this part of the complaint. The Ombudsman recommended that the Health Board apologise to Mrs P and undertake a review of its policies to ensure instances such as this did not happen again.