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Island hospital ordered to apologise to patient after failing to diagnose stroke

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NHS Western Isles has been ordered to apologise to a patient after hospital staff failed to diagnose he had suffered a stroke.

The man, known only as Mr A, was sent to hospital after his GP sent for an ambulance following a consultation with Mr A’s wife, as they suspected he was having a stroke.

However, at A&E he was treated for an irregular heartbeat and possible alcohol-related issues. He was discharged the next day.

However, just a day later he was readmitted and a CT scan confirmed he had suffered a stroke.

His family complained to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO), which has now determined the health board “unreasonably failed to give appropriate care”.

Counsel on behalf of Mr A said that medical staff did not act appropriately he was admitted and failed to investigate the possibility he had suffered a stroke, despite symptoms being identified in his admittance notes.

A spokesman for the SPSO said: “We noted that Mr A symptoms were suggestive of a transient ischaemic attack (TIA; a stroke lasting for a shorter period, less than 24 hours).

“The records suggested appropriate consideration was not given to the possibility and symptoms of a TIA.

“We concluded that the board did not give appropriate consideration to whether Mr A had suffered a TIA.”

A spokeswoman for NHS Western Isles said they had apologised to Mr A and had taken on board the SPSO’s findings.

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