• Case ref:
  • Date:
    February 2019
  • Body:
    Lothian NHS Board - Acute Division
  • Sector(s):
  • Subject:
    clinical treatment / diagnosis
  • Outcome:
    Upheld, recommendations


Mrs C complained on behalf of her husband (Mr A) in relation to the care he received from the Chronic Pain Clinic. Mr A had a long term back condition and was being reviewed in the clinic by a clinical nurse specialist. During our consideration of Mrs C's complaint, we took independent advice from a consultant in anaesthesia.

Mrs C firstly complained that the board unreasonably delayed providing treatment to Mr A. The board acknowledged that Mr A's treatment was delayed by a miscommunication in relation to an appointment and apologised for this. We noted that this may have prolonged the pain Mr A experienced but we were unable to conclude that earlier treatment would have had a better outcome. We upheld the complaint and provided feedback to the board about documentation.

Mrs C also had concern about the way the service communicated with Mr A. We noted that the board had apologised that Mr A was not contacted with an update about his treatment following a consultation. Therefore, we upheld this aspect of Mrs C's complaint but noted that the board had already apologised for this failing.

Finally, Mrs C complained that the board did not investigate or respond to her complaint reasonably. We found evidence of a number of instances where the board did not meet the requirements of the NHS complaints handling procedure. Therefore, we upheld this aspect of Mrs C's complaint.


In relation to complaints handling, we recommended:

  • Staff should be aware of the requirements of the NHS Model Complaints Handling Procedure and handle complaints in accordance with this.