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Hospital rapped for failings after death of cancer patient

Evening Times:

Caroline Wilson, Senior Reporter / / News

Published / News

A CANCER patient died after consenting to major surgery without being told the risks.

The Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank has been rapped by health watchdogs for a string of care failures which may have led to the elderly man's death.

Inspectors found no evidence doctors had carried out a simple fitness test which could have ruled out the surgery. There was also no written proof the man had been offered alternative surgery or treatment or no treatment at all. The patient, known only as Mr A, died six days after the operation to remove a large part of a cancerous lung.

A report by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) found he was at increased risk of death from the surgery because he was suffering from emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis.

However, the consent form he signed did not list those risks.

The hospital has been told to apologise to the family for "unreasonable shortcomings" in care and treatment.

The system for recording information provided to patients on treatment options was described as "poor" by inspectors.

The hospital has also been asked to review the wording of consent forms patients sign before surgery to include the main risks. The report states: "I am unable to conclude with certainty that a full discussion of the treatment options was undertaken with Mr A and that this was informed by an appropriate physiological assessment.

"Therefore, Mr A may not have given fully informed consent with regard to whether he wished to have surgical, non-surgical treatment or no treatment.

"Tests showed Mr A had limited lung function."

The man was referred to the Golden Jubilee after being diagnosed with lung cancer at Inverclyde Royal Hospital. He was admitted on August 29, 2010, for surgery, which was carried out the next day. He died six days later.

A spokeswoman for the Golden Jubilee Hospital said: "We believe we have a good track record in providing first-class care.

"However, we acknowledge that, on this occasion, there were shortcomings in the patient's care and treatment and we accept the recommendations set out by the Ombudsman.

"We have and will continue to apologise to the patient's family."

caroline.wilson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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