Referral to treatment time
Non-public interest report issued: complaint not upheld
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Mr X complained that following a biopsy in October 2020, which confirmed he had aggressive prostate cancer, the Health Board was unable to provide him with a date for surgery. Due to Mr X’s concerns about the impact of the delay, he sought private treatment and underwent a prostatectomy (surgery to remove the prostate) on 6 December 2020.
The Health Board has a contract with an English Trust (“the Trust”) to provide prostatectomy procedures to Health Board patients; Mr X was due to undergo a telephone assessment (“the consultation”) with the designated Trust hospital (“the Trust Hospital”) on 20 November 2020. At that time, the Health Board confirmed that if a patient was proceeding to surgery, this was taking place around 2-3 weeks after the consultation. However, Mr X decided, after attending a private appointment on 10 November, to undergo the surgery privately and contacted the Health Board on 17 November to cancel the consultation. He underwent surgery on 6 December.
The Ombudsman found that it was Mr X’s choice to have private treatment. However, as Mr X decided to cancel the consultation with the Trust Hospital, it was not possible to know what information/action would have been taken following the consultation. As Mr X had not undergone private surgery by the time of the consultation, it would not have been unreasonable to have expected him to have undergone the consultation; had he been told that he could not be offered a date for surgery in the near future, the Ombudsman might have reached a different conclusion. However, as Mr X did not attend the consultation, the Ombudsman could not know whether he would have been given a date for surgery.