A health board has been asked to apologise by the public service ombudsman after it discharged a patient in a “life-threatening” condition, who later died.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran were found to have failed to provide reasonable care and treatment to an elderly parent of a person who complained to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO).
The patient’s child complained that their elderly parent, referred to in the report only as A, was admitted and discharged from hospital on two separate occasions and died shortly after their third admission to hospital.
The SPSO took independent advice from a consultant in geriatric medicine and general medicine and found that the pensioner should have remained in hospital given that a deterioration in their condition was “very likely to occur”.
The report added that a “detailed assessment” of A’s mobility was also required, however there was a lack of this prior to being discharged.
The report determined that A’s combination of problems would have required inpatient care even for a previously healthy patient and the acute exacerbation of A’s conditions would have been profound and life-threatening.
It also found that the health board failed to take account of the evidence in A’s records that they had struggled with their mobility and had needed supervision and support.
While an assessment of A’s mobility had been part of the medical plan at the time of their first admission, the SPSO said that given the severity of A’s illness, age, and the difficulty with walking, there should have been a specific and detailed assessment of A’s mobility prior to their discharge.
The ombudsman also found that the board failed to provide a full response to the patient’s child’s complaint and upheld it.
The health board has now been asked by the SPSO to apologise for the failings in discharging A from the hospital the day after their admission, for failing to carry out a full and detailed assessment of A’s mobility prior to their discharge and for the failure to provide the patient’s child with a full and informed response in relation to their complaint.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran has been contacted for comment.
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