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NHS Lanarkshire Apology
NHS Lanarkshire have issued an apology following a report from the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman which criticised the health board - after they took nearly a year to tell a patient he was dying of cancer.
The patient, who is named only as Mr A, had a scan in 2012 following surgery to remove a bowel tumour. The scan showed the cancer had spread. But he was not told this until the following year, and he died 10 months later.
The complaint against the health board was brought by the man’s daughter, referred to as Mrs C. The Ombudsman said he was concerned the same situation could arise again at the health board.
Irene Barkby, the health board’s Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions, said: “It is very clear from this report that we fell below the standards of care any patient should expect from NHS Lanarkshire.
“We will be contacting the complainant directly to apologise for the unacceptable delays her father experienced.
“We fully accept the Ombudsman’s recommendations and will ensure action is taken to address the issues that have been raised.
“It is also important that the lessons learned are shared, not just with the staff directly involved in this case, but with staff throughout Lanarkshire so that similar errors do not occur in the future.
“We will be carrying this procedure out through our clinical governance arrangements. ”
The complaint against the health board was brought by the man’s daughter, referred to as Mrs C. She said there had been delays in assessing her father’s scan, and that when the results were passed on she had to call repeatedly to get a follow-up appointment and a second scan.
The Ombudsman said: “I found that a combination of errors and inadequate systems resulted in a failure to assess and refer Mr A for treatment of his cancer.
“My physician adviser noted that the board had not more thoroughly investigated the handling of the test and scan results in their response to Mrs C.
“Given that neither set of results had been handled correctly, the adviser was concerned that this reflected a more general failure of results gathering and scrutiny by the board.”
He added: “I am, therefore, concerned that this situation could arise again.”
The Ombudsman’s report also criticised the difficulty Mr A and has family had in obtaining further treatment for his bowel cancer.