A medical practice in the north-east has been investigated following a complaint about the treatment of a woman with terminal cancer.
The unnamed practice, which is identified as part of the NHS Grampian health board area, was the subject of a report by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO).
The complaint was made by the woman’s husband, referred to as Mr C in the report, and related to the way she was treated by GP’s at the practice.
The report said: “Mr C complained about the way that GPs at the medical practice dealt with Mrs C’s medical problems, saying that they did not visit and relied on the community nurses instead. He said that his wife was in severe pain and great distress.
“For four weeks she was not examined by a doctor and additional medication was not prescribed, as the community nurse was not able to prescribe medication.
The family had initially contacted the GP and community services at the same time, and received a visit from a community nurse the following week.
At a later date a phone consultation was held with a different GP, which was followed up by further visits from a community nurse.
Early in the following month, the patient’s family were concerned about her condition, and once again contacted the medical practice to speak to the duty GP. They were advised to administer painkillers and told she would be reviewed within a week.
When the GP came to visit Mrs C at home, they noted that she was in the terminal stage of her illness. She died later that day.
The SPSO report has recommended that the medical practice in question should apologise to Mr C for the failures identified, and review their management of patients with advanced cancer.
NHS Grampian was unable to comment on the report last night, as the recommendations relate to a specific medical practice.