Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

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  • Case ref:
  • Date:
    January 2017
  • Body:
    Ayrshire and Arran NHS Board
  • Sector(s):
  • Subject:
    clinical treatment / diagnosis
  • Outcome:
    Not upheld, no recommendations


Mr C complained about the care and treatment he received for a diabetic foot ulcer. Mr C had been receiving treatment for diabetes-related foot problems for an extended period. Due to difficulties with recurrent infection and Mr C's difficulty in complying with his treatment programme, he was fitted with a special cast to protect the ulcer on his foot. Mr C complained that the cast had been too tight and had damaged his foot, resulting in the possible amputation of his toe.

The board said no injury had been noted to Mr C's toe prior to the removal of the cast. They suggested that the injury had taken place between the removal of the cast and a subsequent medical review. The board said that the cast had been appropriately applied and reviewed and that the care and treatment had been of a reasonable standard.

We sought independent medical advice and found that Mr C's cast had been an appropriate course of treatment. There was no evidence that it had been incorrectly applied, or that it had damaged Mr C's foot. There was no record of a wound to Mr C's toe when the cast was removed. Mr C's medical review following removal of the foot cast did not attribute the injury to the cast. We also found that Mr C's ulcer had reduced whilst the cast was on his foot, demonstrating that the treatment had worked as planned.

We found that Mr C's care and treatment had been of a reasonable standard. The cast to his foot had been applied and removed by an appropriate specialist and there was no evidence to link the injury to his toe to the cast.

Download case 201600175 as a PDF (11.25 KB)

Updated: January 25, 2017