Mrs R complained to me about the manner in which the former Pontypridd and Rhondda NHS Trust dealt with a complaint she made about care provided to her late mother, Mrs T. Mrs R was specifically concerned about the manner in which the Chief Executive of the Trust had responded to her about the treatment provided to her mother without declaring that the Chief Executive was married to a consultant surgeon who had been involved in the events about which she had complained to the Health Board.
My investigation found that the Chief Executive did fail to declare the fact that she was married to the Consultant when she responded to Mrs R’s complaint. It also became evident to me that the Consultant in question had been significantly involved in one of the surgical procedures that Mrs T underwent and about which Mrs R complained. I also found that the former Trust’s policy was that the Chief Executive should respond to all complaints letters although there was clearly provision for this function to be performed by the Deputy Chief Executive of the Trust. I found the failure of the former Chief Executive to declare her connection with the Consultant to have led to a perception by Mrs R of a conflict of interest and accordingly I upheld the complaint. In doing so I emphasised that I had seen no evidence to suggest that the Chief Executive had any influence on the content of the response letters sent to Mrs R.
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