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Decision Report 201805653

  • Case ref:
  • Date:
    July 2020
  • Body:
    Lanarkshire NHS Board
  • Sector:
  • Outcome:
    Not upheld, no recommendations
  • Subject:
    communication / staff attitude / dignity / confidentiality


Mrs C complained about the care and treatment of her late son (Mr A). Mr A had a history of mental health and addiction problems. Mrs C complained about the role of the board's addictions service in Mr A's treatment. Mrs C said that Mr A was prescribed drugs that had a damaging effect on his mental state. She considered that the drugs should not have been prescribed in combination, and without appropriate supervision. She raised concerns that she was unable to support Mr A as she was excluded from discussions about his care. While it was on record that Mr A did not wish for information about his care to be shared with his mother, Mrs C did not consider that Mr A had capacity to make that decision. In any event she considered that the clinicians' duty of care and Mr A's right to life should have overridden any obligations to protect his right to confidentiality.

We took independent medical advice from a consultant psychiatrist. We found that the drugs prescribed to Mr A are commonly prescribed alongside one another and were appropriate for the treatment of his problems. We considered that there was appropriate monitoring of Mr A's clinical state, and that it was appropriate for clinicians to act in line with Mr A's expressed wish for information not to be shared with Mrs C. We noted that the assessment of Mr A's capacity appeared reasonable and that Mr A's recorded clinical presentation was reasonably not viewed as meeting exceptional circumstances that would have permitted breaching his confidentiality.

We did not uphold the complaint.

Updated: July 22, 2020