Healthcare news

Patient's criticism of health trust failings upheld by Ombudsman

The Royal Victoria hospital's care of a fracture patient who couldn't get a home care package has been investigated

THE Northern Ireland Ombudsman has found failings by the Belfast health trust in the care of a patient who couldn't get a care package following a shoulder replacement.

An investigation by the watchdog upheld the woman's complaint after it emerged she couldn't get an occupational therapy (OT) or social work assessment prior to her discharge from Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital in May 2016.

She spent almost a month in the Royal's fracture ward after suffering a fall at home.

As a result of the delayed assessments, she was unable to access appropriate support at home and had to refer herself to the Northern trust's 're-ablement' team.

The Ombudsman probe concluded that failures in care and treatment caused the patient to experience the "injustice of inconvenience and upset".

"I also consider the failures in care and treatment and maladministration caused her the injustice of having to wait for a care package; upset, distress and anxiety in having to care for herself over the weekend period, and having to independently source a care package assessment three days after discharge," the Ombudsman found.

The review recommended the trust provide a "meaningful apology" for anxiety caused to the patient and a 'consolatory' payment of £750.

Training for multi-disciplinary health service teams on the importance of recording clear and accurate records - particularly for patients being discharged from hospital - was also recommended.

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