Health board or­dered to apol­o­gise

The Scotsman - - Around Scotland - By LAURA PATER­SON scott.macnab@scots­man.com

A watch­dog has told a health board to apol­o­gise to a car crash vic­tim for “sig­nif­i­cant fail­ings” in his treat­ment in­clud­ing risk­ing paral­y­sis by not di­ag­nos­ing his spine frac­ture.

The pa­tient was treated at Bal­four Hospi­tal in Orkney fol­low­ing a car ac­ci­dent but was not given a spine X-ray de­spite com­plain­ing about back pain, an in­ves­ti­ga­tion found.

He was only given parac­eta­mol for the pain but when he was air­lifted to an­other hospi­tal, doc­tors there dis­cov­ered he had frac­tured his spine. A sup­port worker com­plained to the Scot­tish Public Ser­vices Om­buds­man (SPSO) on be­half of the pa­tient, claim­ing he “could have been paral­ysed”.

A con­sul­tant in emer­gency medicine who car­ried out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion for the SPSO said med­i­cal staff at Bal­four Hospi­tal who al­lowed the in­jured man to sit up “cre­ated a con­sid­er­able risk of him sus­tain­ing an in­jury to his spinal cord and be­com­ing paral­ysed”.

The watch­dog has asked NHS Orkney to apol­o­gise in writ­ing to the pa­tient, known as Mr A. The SPSO said in a re­port: “We found mul­ti­ple fail­ings in the care and treat­ment pro­vided to Mr A.”

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