The complainant (Mr C) complained about the treatment he received following his referral to the Orthopaedic Department at Ninewells Hospital for an injury to a muscle in his chest. His GP (Doctor 1) referred him to a consultant orthopaedic surgeon (Doctor 2). Doctor 2 assessed him and concluded that no surgical treatment would improve his injury. He then suggested that if Mr C was worried about the look of the injury, Doctor 1 should refer him to plastic surgery services. Doctor 1 referred Mr C to plastic surgery services for cosmetic repair. A consultant plastic surgeon declined the referral prior to seeing Mr C as cosmetic augmentation of the pectoral muscle was not a procedure offered by the plastic surgery services.
Specific complaint and conclusion
The complaint which has been investigated is that Tayside NHS Board (the Board) have failed to provide appropriate clinical treatment following a GP referral for a chest injury (upheld).
Redress and recommendations
The Ombudsman recommends that the Board:
- (i) ensure that Mr C is referred for a second consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon;
- (ii) ensure this case and the identified failings are discussed with Doctor 2 at his next appraisal;
- (iii) ensure the Medical Director is made aware of the identified failure to facilitate the request for a second opinion; and
- (iv) issue a full apology to Mr C for the failings identified in this case.
The Board have accepted the recommendations and will act on them accordingly.