NHS Fife has been asked to apologise “for their shortcomings in nursing care” following the death of a patient.
Ms C had complained about the care and treatment her late mother-in-law, known as Mrs A, received while she was a patient in Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital in the days leading up to her death.
Mrs A had a medical history which included, among other things, epilepsy and dementia.
She had been admitted to the hospital after falling from her bed.
She then fell a further twice from her bed and shortly after the second time suffered a serious injury and died.
Ms C claimed the hospital failed to protect her mother-in-law properly, particularly as she had been assessed as being at high risk from falls.
She claimed Mrs A was not provided with the one-to-one care she should have been given, nor was she given appropriate medical care after she fell from the bed.
Ms C was also concerned at the level of communication with the family. She said that although they were told of both falls, on the second occasion there was “no sense of urgency” despite Mrs A’s very serious condition.
The Ombudsman took independent advice from a consultant geriatrician and a nursing adviser.
They found the medical care Mrs A received was reasonable, so did not uphold that aspect of the complaint.
“However, we found that nursing staff failed to provide Mrs A with adequate nursing care,” the Ombudsman’s report added.
He said there was also a general lack of detail in some of the patient’s records and a similar lack of detail given to the family about Mrs A’s condition, so the complaints about these issues were upheld.
Asking NHS Fife to formally apologise to Ms C, the Ombudsman made a number of other recommendations to the board.
NHS Fife’s director of nursing, Helen Paterson, said: “NHS Fife aims to provide the best possible care for all of those requiring our services.
“We accept, however, that in this instance some elements of the care provided were not of the standard that our patients should expect.”
She said the Ombudsman’s findings would be carefully considered and its recommendations implemented in full.
“NHS Fife will be apologising formally to the family, and I welcome the opportunity to reiterate that apology publicly,” she added.