GP should have referred patient with cancerous brain tumour 'sooner'

The patient complained about the care and treatment they received prior to their brain tumour diagnosis.

Patient with cancerous brain tumour waited ten months for referral despite worsening symptoms iStock

A patient that was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour waited ten months for a referral.

The NHS Lothian patient said they had eight consultations at their GP practice over ten months before being referred to the neurology department in a complaint submitted to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO).

They eventually had to undergo surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy after being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour.

The SPSO opened an investigation into the complaint seeking independent advice from a GP with the patient’s complaints upheld.

The watchdog found that there was a missed opportunity for the practice to review the patient in person and consider an earlier referral on the basis of the patient’s symptoms getting worse.

The SPSO ordered the practice to apologise to the patient as well as ensuring further complaints are properly investigated and responded to.

The practice acknowledged their failings and took action to address them.

NHS Lothian has been contacted for comment.

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