A north-east health board has apologised after a patient’s cancer diagnosis was delayed.
The complaint raised by C said that NHS Grampian, particularly the ear, nose and throat department had failed to provide them with reasonable care and treatment.
The patient was eventually diagnosed with differentiated carcinoma, a type of cancer, of the left parotid, which is the salivary gland in front of the ear, with extension to regional nodes and infiltration of the skin.
NHS Grampian had said that as soon as the ear, nose and throat department were presented with concerning symptoms, they were acted on immediately and appropriately to ensure that C was diagnosed quickly.
However, the SPSO upheld C’s complaint, and NHS Grampian apologised.
A statement from the SPSO said: “We took independent advice from an ENT adviser.
“We found that there had been failures in the care and treatment C received which led to a delay in diagnosis and treatment, including: a delay between having an ultrasound scan and C being seen in clinic; interpretation of that ultrasound scan and a failure to appreciate the relevance of the time delay to the scan appearances; the classification of C’s referral which should have been classed as urgent; and C’s discharge from clinic and lack of follow-up appointment.
“We found that the board did not provide reasonable care and treatment to C and upheld this complaint.”
In its recommendations, the SPSO asked NHS Grampian to give consideration to providing follow-up appointments if concerns are raised by the findings, that patients should be diagnosed in a timely manner and when considering investigation findings, clinicians should ensure they are taking into consideration all relevant factors.
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: “We have already apologised directly to C for our failings in this case; we would like to take this opportunity to do so again publicly.
“We have accepted and implemented all the recommendations made by the SPSO.”