Family Awarded After Pensioner Blunder

A family in Wales has received £4,000 from their local health board after a series of blunders.

The Public Health Ombudsman told the health board they had to pay the family compensation after a number of failures in the treatment of an elderly pensioner’s care at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Wales Online reported.

First of all medical staff failed to diagnose the patient’s sepsis for 3.5 hours after her arrival, meaning that the illness progressed very rapidly. They then failed to administer antibiotics for 6 hours after her arrival, as well as paracetamol.

The poor records meant that the health ombudsman was unable to correctly identify the methods used to treat the woman, for example whether or not she was given oxygen or overseen by qualified staff, and stated that this was an injustice to the family.

Unfortunately, the Cardiff and Vale Health Board clinical director said he thought there would be no direct changes to the way in which health staff carried out the care for older people using local health services.
The Public Health Ombudsman said that local health care workers needed to be reminded of the correct record keeping procedures in order to prevent similar tragedies happening, and ensure that staff were accountable.
Sepsis training should also be provided to staff, the Ombudsman argued.

The Public Health Ombudsman is the final stage in a medical complaint case if a complaint has not been managed adequately by the health board.

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