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NHS boards forced to apologise after failing to spot fatal haemorrhage

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The death of a man from a haemorrhage has resulted in two NHS health boards being ordered to apologise for failing to provide adequate care and treatment.

The unnamed Scottish man was twice told to take paracetamol after his wife described symptoms including sudden pain, sweating and losing colour from his face.

Hours later, after another doctor diagnosed a subarachnoid - bleeding from a blood vessel running over the brain - and he was rushed to Southern General Hospital.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman has now upheld complaints against Greater Glasgow and Clyde Trust and the out-of-hours health advice service NHS 24.

A medical adviser said clinical symptoms initially described over the phone provided enough information for a proper diagnosis which “should have been followed through”.

NHS 24 was ordered to ensure call handlers’ basic training is developed, while the Greater Glasgow and Clyde doctor who told the man to take paracetamol must “reflect” on the case.

The ombudsman added: “NHS 24 and the board have accepted the recommendations made within this report and some work on those recommendations has begun.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Once again, glaring faults with the system seems to be ignored.

    Most people want to be seen by a trained doctor when they are feeling unwell, and especially if they are feeling like something is seriously wrong with them.

    Unfortunately, the changes within the NHS means that we have to put up with being told to call NHS Direct, instead of turning up to an A&E department and wait for upto 4 hours to be seen, or sent home to return with the problem but worse than before.

    We misuse the NHS - how many times have people turned up at GP surgeries with colds and coughs? Should they not have tried to deal with this problem by using their Pharmacist?

    We misuse the services provided by the NHS and some people will always be let down by it - no service is guaranteed 100% - only our politicians tell us to expect more from our NHS - and they have no idea how the NHS works - they only know that it is a vote winner, so go on making false promises, which no one in their right minds actually believes.

    If you are gullible enough to believe what a politician tells you, then you are in big trouble - in the real world, excluding the UK, people die from less severe illnesses and that is the norm - people in the UK however believe they have a right to 100% guaranteed successful treatment - how naive is this?

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