Hywel Dda Health Board sorry for woman's death
HYWEL Dda Health Board has apologised to the family of a woman who died after she was wrongly diagnosed by an out of hours GP.
A report by the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales found the GP in question had failed to carry out a number of basic checks on the woman, who can only be identified as Mrs R.
The ombudsman also criticised the health board's handling of a complaint made by Mrs R's husband following her death.
Mrs R had developed lymphoedema on her left arm due to treatment she was receiving for breast cancer.
On May 7 last year the 67-year-old called the health board's out of hours service, complaining of a rash on her left arm and that she was "feeling lousy."
An appointment was arranged for her to see a GP at Glangwili Hospital.
Following a 12-minute consultation she was told she had shingles and prescribed a common antiviral drug.
The following day she collapsed in her bathroom and was rushed to hospital where she later died of multi-organ failure, caused by sepsis in her left arm.
The Ombudsman found the GP she saw the day before her death had failed to carry out a number of basic assessments.
The Ombudsman said in his report: "There was no record of the GP performing a number of basic assessments including temperature, pulse, and blood pressure.
The Ombudsman said a diagnosis of sepsis by the GP could have saved Mrs R.
The Ombudsman also found maladministration in the health board's complaint handling, ranging from "delays, fundamental errors in letters and no acknowledgement or response to a relevant third party."
In a statement, Hywel Dda Health Board said: "The health board would like to apologise to the patient's family for the failures identified in the Ombudsman's report.
"We fully accept the findings of the report and are in the process of carrying out the Ombudsman's recommendations.
"We will also be sharing the report widely to ensure lessons are learnt."
The Ombudsman recommended a redress of £4,000 to Mr R for the failures identified in the care of Mrs R and £500 for the complaint handling failures.