Patient died after hospital failed to give them antibiotics fast enough

NHS Tayside has been told to apologise to the spouse of a patient that died.

Patient died after hospital failed to give them antibiotics fast enough Getty Images

A patient died after hospital staff failed to act “urgently” and administer antibiotics quickly enough when they began to deteriorate.

They were admitted to a hospital in NHS Tayside for a knee replacement, which went well, but during their recovery their condition declined.

They were transferred to the High Dependency Unit where they went into cardiac arrest and died.

The patient’s spouse had raised concerns about their partner’s treatment during their admission.

NHS Tayside responded to the complaints and opened a Local Adverse Event Review (LAER) which found there had been issues with the treatment.

Following the review, the health board recommended changes that could be made but also concluded that other aspects of the treatment had been “reasonable”.

NHS Tayside said that most of the questions raised by the patient’s spouse had been addressed in a meeting between the family and a consultant, or in the LAER report.

An investigation by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) was opened two years after the original complaints were logged.

The watchdog consulted a medical expert and found observations of the patient “should have been increased”.

They also found the patient’s care should have been “escalated” and antibiotics should have been given to them sooner.

While the board had provided answers to some questions in the face-to-face meeting, the SPSO found clear answers to other questions were not provided until the watchdog became involved two years later.

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

This included ensuring antibiotic therapy is administered without delay and patients receive timely medical reviews.

A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said, “We have apologised to the family and our thoughts remain with them.

“We always take the feedback we receive from the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman very seriously and have addressed all the recommendations within the report.”

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