Decision Report 201709275

  • Case ref:
  • Date:
    October 2018
  • Body:
    A Medical Practice in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board area
  • Sector:
  • Outcome:
    Some upheld, recommendations
  • Subject:
    clinical treatment / diagnosis


Ms C complained about the care and treatment provided to her late mother (Mrs  A) by the practice. Mrs A reported hip and back pain to her GP, and was later found to have breast cancer which had spread to her stomach and bones. Ms C complained that the practice failed to identify that Mrs A's back and hip pain was due to cancer in her bones.

We took independent advice from a GP adviser. We found that, when Mrs A presented with back pain she was directed to physiotherapy, which was reasonable, and that there were no signs or symptoms of cancer at this point. We found that the practice provided reasonable care and treatment to Mrs A for her back and hip pain, and we did not uphold the complaint.

Ms C also complained about the way the practice handled her complaint. We found that the practice had not handled her complaint in line with the model complaints handling procedure and, therefore, we upheld this part of Ms C's complaint.


What we asked the organisation to do in this case:

  • Apologise to Ms C for failing to respond to her complaint in a reasonable manner.The apology should meet the standards set out in the SPSO guidelines on apology available at

In relation to complaints handling, we recommended:

  • Complaints should be handled in line with the model complaints handling procedure. The model complaints handling procedure and guidance can be found here:

Updated: December 2, 2018