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Decision Report 201709282

  • Case ref:
  • Date:
    March 2020
  • Body:
    Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board - Acute Services Division
  • Sector:
  • Outcome:
    Not upheld, no recommendations
  • Subject:
    clinical treatment / diagnosis


Ms C complained about the care and treatment she received at Princess Royal Maternity Unit and Queen Elizabeth University Hospital following the birth of her baby. Ms C complained about the appropriateness of a speculum (a metal instrument that is used to dilate an orifice or canal in the body to allow inspection) examination and had concerns whether an ultrasound had been carried out and reported properly. Ms C also complained that it took around three weeks for it to be identified that she needed surgical treatment for ongoing bleeding and retained products of conception, and about the lack of breast pump available and support given regarding expressing milk.

We took independent advice from a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist (a doctor who specialises in pregnancy, childbirth and the female reproductive system) qualified in ultrasound, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, and a midwife. We found that it was appropriate to perform the speculum examination and that the ultrasound had likely been interpreted accurately. Therefore, we did not uphold this aspect of Ms C's complaint.

We also found that subsequent investigations did not identify significant products of conception that required earlier surgical intervention. We further considered that there was reasonable evidence to reflect that advice had been offered regarding breast care and that it was not unreasonable that a breast pump was not available at the time of discharge. However, we noted that the board reflected on Ms C's concerns and acknowledged the benefit of improving their supply of breast pumps. We did not uphold this aspect of Ms C's complaint.

Updated: March 18, 2020