• Case ref:
  • Date:
    June 2011
  • Body:
    Ayrshire and Arran NHS Board
  • Sector(s):
  • Subject:
    clinical treatment; diagnosis
  • Outcome:
    Not upheld, no recommendations

Ms A started to feel unwell while working abroad. She attended a hospital there for scans before returning to Scotland. Ms A went to her GP and explained the problems she was experiencing. She gave him the scans and medical reports, but as these were not in English, he was unable to read them. A friend suggested that she ask her GP to send the scans to hospital for a consultant radiologist to interpret them. The GP did this, but the consultant was not willing to look at them. Ms A went back to her GP, and was referred for private treatment. She was found to have cancer and underwent major surgery, including a hysterectomy, removal of a bowel tumour and the fitting of a stoma. Mr and Mrs C felt that it took too long for their daughter’s concerns to be taken seriously. They complained on her behalf that diagnosis and treatment were delayed because the consultant did not report on the scans when asked to do. Mr and Mrs C were also unhappy with the stoma aftercare advice and support provided.

Having taken advice from our medical advisers, we did not uphold Mr and Mrs C’s complaints. On the first complaint, our adviser said that sending the scans to a radiologist in this way was unusual and it was unlikely that they would give a professional opinion based on such scans and reports. He particularly noted that the radiologist was not given these along with or supported by relevant medical information. It was therefore reasonable that the radiologist did not try to interpret them, but it would have been a courtesy for them to let the GP know how to progress matters. On the aftercare provided, we found that there was evidence that Ms A received a reasonable level of treatment from the District Nursing Service and the Stoma Care Nursing Service. The number of contacts with the services was reasonable and staff had recorded and taken into account the fact that Ms A had sight difficulties (one of Mr and Mrs C’s concerns). Staff were satisfied that with assistance Ms A could manage her stoma but pointed out that if problems arose then she had their contact details.