Decision Report 201804034

  • Case ref:
  • Date:
    September 2019
  • Body:
    Western Isles NHS Board
  • Sector:
  • Outcome:
    Some upheld, recommendations
  • Subject:
    clinical treatment / diagnosis


Mr C complained about the time taken for the board to refer him to specialist care for pain in his hip following a hip replacement.

We found that for several years the board's actions were reasonable. However, at one point, the board recognised the possibility of infection but chose not to aspirate (drain fluid from) Mr C's hip. We considered this to be unreasonable and that Mr C should have been refererred for specialist care. We upheld this aspect of the complaint.

Mr C also complained about the boards handling of his complaint. We found that the board complaint handling was reasonable and, therefore, we did not uphold this aspect of the complaint.


What we asked the organisation to do in this case:

  • Apologise to Mr C for failing to provide reasonable treatment in relation to pain in his hip. The apology should meet thestandards set out in the SPSO guidelines on apology available at

What we said should change to put things right in future:

  • The board should develop a written policy for the investigation of painful hip replacements that takes into consideration the content of the European Consensus Document on Periprosthetic Infection (

We have asked the organisation to provide us with evidence that they have implemented the recommendations we have made on this case by the deadline we set.

Updated: September 18, 2019