Patient list issues
Upheld in whole or in part
Non-public interest report issued: complaint upheld
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Mrs B complained, on behalf of her brother Mr A, about unreasonable delays by Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (“the Health Board”) before undertaking Mr A’s treatment for colorectal cancer. Mrs B said that the Health Board failed to tell Mr A that his planned surgery had been cancelled and did not re-schedule the surgery until prompted by telephone calls and a complaint from the family. Mrs B also said that the Health Board failed to undertake Mr A’s surgery within an appropriate timeframe, causing progression of the disease and a less certain outcome.
The Ombudsman found that the Heath Board failed to schedule surgery and only did so 5 weeks later after prompting by Mr A. This resulted in an avoidable delay that did not meet the National Pathway guidelines for colorectal cancer. This caused considerable trouble and distress to Mr A. The Ombudsman concluded that the care Mr A received, in terms of scheduling surgery, failed to meet an appropriate standard and upheld those aspects of the complaint. The Ombudsman did not uphold the complaint relating to the delay causing a less certain prognosis as evidence of this was unclear.
The Ombudsman recommended that the Health Board should apologise to Mr A and Mrs B for the failings identified in surgery scheduling and delays caused. She also recommend that the Health Board should complete an audit of the current colorectal surgery scheduling process and controls. If not found to be robust, to put a plan in place to close any gaps identified. The Health Board agreed to implement these recommendations.