Decision Report 201406539

  • Case ref:
  • Date:
    June 2015
  • Body:
    A Medical Practice in the Ayrshire and Arran NHS Board area
  • Sector:
  • Outcome:
    Not upheld, no recommendations
  • Subject:
    clinical treatment / diagnosis


Mr C complained about the care and treatment that his late mother (Mrs A) received from her GP. Mrs A had attended her GP with symptoms of breathlessness and the GP arranged an x-ray, took a blood sample and prescribed antibiotics. The x-ray result was reported as normal. Mrs A died four days after the consultation from a pulmonary embolus (a clot in the blood vessel that transports blood from the heart to the lungs) caused by deep vein thrombosis. Mr C felt that the GP had taken insufficient note of his mother's breathlessness and should have taken urgent action to establish a further diagnosis as the x-ray had been reported as clear.

We took independent advice from a GP adviser and found that Mrs A's GP had acted reasonably by conducting appropriate investigations in order to establish a diagnosis and that there were no signs that Mrs A would suffer a pulmonary embolus a few days after the consultation. We also found that there was no delay by her GP in their consideration of the x-ray result. We did, however, note that the GP's record-keeping was not as thorough as it could have been and that the GP should reflect on this.

We did not uphold the complaint.

Updated: March 13, 2018