NHS board failed to give proper care to mum during high-risk pregnancy

NHS Lothian has been told to apologise to a high-risk pregnancy patient after they were not given 'reasonable care'.

NHS Lothian failed to give proper care to mum during high-risk pregnancy iStock

An NHS board failed to give proper care to a mum during a high-risk risk pregnancy, an investigation has found.

The patient, referred to as C, complained that she was refused admission to hospital despite experiencing vaginal bleeding and being considered a high-risk pregnancy due to four previous caesarean section procedures and a surgery to reverse previous sterilisation.

The patient complained that the care given fell below a “reasonable standard” which included a “lack of empathy and courtesy” by staff during scans.

C was eventually admitted to hospital where their surgery was “unreasonably delayed” which they said was the cause of an “avoidable” rupture to their fallopian tube.

An investigation was launched by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) and, after consulting with medical experts, it was found that there were a number of failings by the board.

The watchdog found that the board “failed to provide reasonable” care during C’s admission to hospital but didn’t uphold the patient’s complaint regarding the refused admissions.

The Ombudsman said they found that C was treated reasonably and that the staff followed the board’s procedure.

During the investigation the board submitted sections of C’s medical records which had not been previously provided, a mistake the board acknowledged.

The watchdog reviewed the new information and found that some of the board’s actions were justified.

The Ombudsman told NHS Lothian to apologise, upholding the part of the patient’s complaint and telling the board it had to change its practices to “put things right in future”.

This included developing a standard procedure for reporting results in early pregnancy as well as imposing appropriate communication training for workers in the early pregnancy unit.

Alison MacDonald, executive nurse director for NHS Lothian, said: “We sincerely apologise to C for the failings identified.

“We have implemented the recommendations not already in place and updated the SPSO.”

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