NHS Lothian has been forced to apologise to an Edinburgh prisoner after withdrawing their pain medication.
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) has told the NHS board to apologise after finding medical staff incorrectly recorded what was said at a ‘medication spot check’ – not for withdrawing the medication that kept the prisoner pain-free.
The prisoner, who has been kept anonymous by the SPSO and is either a prisoner at HMP Edinburgh or HMP Addiewell, complained to the ombudsman about a decision by the prison health care team to discontinue prescribed pain medication.
The decision to withdraw the pain medication was made after the prisoner failed a ‘medication spot check’, where health professionals check the status and quantity of a patient’s medication, because the prisoner ‘did not cooperate’.
However, the SPSO found that the response from NHS Lothian to the complainant contained an inaccurate quote attributed to the prisoner.
The SPSO decision report, which refers to the prisoner as ‘C’, reads: “We took independent medical advice from a GP.
“We were unable to reconcile the conflicting accounts provided by C and the board regarding what happened during the spot check.
“We were unable to conclude that the spot check was not conducted appropriately. In the context of a failed spot check, we concluded that it was reasonable that C’s medication was discontinued.
“We did not uphold C’s complaint; however, we made a recommendation after we identified an issue with the board’s complaint handling.
“We have asked the board to apologise to C, that the frontline complaint response contained an inaccuracy about what they reportedly said during the spot check.”