A health board has been ordered to review why a patient with “heavy vaginal bleeding” was left to sit in a chair in an accident and emergency corridor.
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) instructed an NHS Lothian A&E unit to assess the delay in triaging the patient, referred to as C.
NHS Lothian was also told to consider what it can do to improve the experience of patients who require privacy when awaiting medical assessment.
C complained about their care and treatment following a hysterectomy, adding that they had not been provided with adequate pain relief following the surgery.
After being discharged, C was later readmitted suffering from a blood clot and an infection but was sent home again with oral antibiotics.
The patient disputed whether they were fit to be discharged on both occasions but this was not upheld by the SPSO.
The watchdog heard that patient C began to bleed heavily after being discharged but when an ambulance was called the patient was told the wait was likely to be significant and was instead taken to hospital by their partner.
Upon their arrival, C was triaged but asked to sit on a chair in a corridor, despite suffering from obvious heavy vaginal bleeding.
In relation to C’s attendance at A&E, the watchdog found that they were not triaged sufficiently quickly and the way C was asked to wait was not appropriate given their condition.
C was later reviewed by a consultant and sent up to the gynaecology ward where they were then taken for emergency surgery.
In relation to C’s attendance at A&E, the watchdog found that they were not triaged “sufficiently quickly” and the way C was asked to wait was not appropriate given their condition.
However, it was found that C was medically assessed within an appropriate timescale within A&E and appropriately transferred.
The health board accepted there were failings in C’s care, but SPSO concluded they had not set out clearly how they planned to address these issues and upheld this part of C’s complaint.
Dr Tracey Gillies, Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said: “We apologise for any distress caused to the patient while they waited for their assessment in A&E and are implementing the findings of the report, including an assessment of the delay in triage, and considering what can be done to improve the experience of patients who require privacy while waiting to be assessed.”
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