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Ms A complained that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (“the Health Board”) delayed two of her appointments, at its Glaucoma Review Clinic (“the Clinic”), unreasonably. She said that she needed emergency treatment as a result. She contended that she sustained significant vision loss in her right eye and experienced “considerable distress” because of these appointment delays. She indicated that she was dissatisfied with the Health Board’s response to her complaint because it took too long to provide it and asserted that her sight was “unaffected” by these appointment delays.

The Acting Ombudsman upheld Ms A’s complaint. She considered that the Health Board delayed Ms A’s Clinic appointments unreasonably and failed to manage her glaucoma-related risks appropriately. She was also of the view that it took too long to respond to Ms A’s complaint and failed to update her and manage the issue of possible qualifying liability appropriately. She recommended that the Health Board should:

(a) Apology – Write to Ms A to apologise for the failings identified.
(b) Qualifying liability – Write to Ms A to explain how it determined that there was no qualifying liability in her case.
(c) Review – Review its ophthalmology services with reference to her investigation report and a pre-existing “Situation Background Assessment Recommendation” (“SBAR”) report.
(d) SBAR report – Prepare another SBAR report following this review.

She also considered it appropriate to recommend financial redress for Ms A. However, she did not do so because Ms A did not want such redress. The Health Board agreed to comply with the recommendations made.

A full copy of the report is available below.