NHS Borders complaint upheld

NHS Borders has been told to apologise to the family of a woman discharged from hospital to a nursing home for failing to tell them about continuing NHS healthcare procedures.

Public watchdog Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) investigated a complaint by Mrs A’s son-in-law. His complaint was that NHS staff had not told the family about the NHS continuing healthcare procedure, resulting in financial implications for the family.

NHS Borders board maintained that Mrs A’s medical records contained details about communication with her family about her discharge from hospital and that the family were satisfied that placement in a nursing home was appropriate.

SPSO said: “We upheld the complaint as we found that, although the records showed that there were frequent discussions with Mrs A’s family about the plans for her discharge, there was no specific mention of the NHS continuing healthcare procedure.

“We recommended that the board: issue a written apology to Mr C for the failure to advise the family that there was an appeals procedure where there is a disagreement about the decision to provide NHS continuing healthcare; issue a written apology to Mr C for the failure to specifically record at discharge that consideration had been given to NHS continuing healthcare; and remind staff of the requirement to communicate with patients and carers about the procedure for NHS continuing healthcare.