Scotland’s public services watchdog has ordered NHS Grampian to apologise after they refused to operate on a patient who had managed to lose the required weight for the procedure.
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) found that a consultant at Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen made an “unreasonable” decision to forbid an operation on the man, known as Mr C.
The complainant had suffered from knee problems for a number of years, but had been refused surgery due to his high Body Mass Index (BMI).
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However, even though he went on to lose enough weight – according to independent advice the SPSO received from an orthopaedic consultant – he was told by staff at Woodend Hospital to lose a further three and a half stone.
A report from the SPSO said: “We considered that Mr C had persevered with his weight loss attempts and that it was then unreasonable for the consultant to have decided that Mr C continue to lose a further substantial amount of weight.”
The watchdog told NHS Grampian to apologise, and review their decision over refusing surgery.
The SPSO has also upheld a separate complaint relating to a woman, known as Mrs A, who received poor treatment at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for her abdominal problems.
After receiving independent advice from a consultant gastroenterologist, the investigators found there had “been an unreasonable delay in carrying out an urgent colonoscopy”.
The SPSO also agreed that the health board’s response to Mrs A’s husband’s complaint regarding the ordeal was not reasonable.
Again, the watchdog told NHS Grampian to say sorry, and review how they handle patients with Mrs A’s medical condition.
A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said: “These cases both reflect occasions when the care we provided as not what it should have been.
“We have accepted the ombudsman’s decision, and recommendations, in both cases.
“We have written to the patients involved to offer an apology and would like to take this opportunity to apologise to them publicly.”