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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...


Call for NHS Fife to apologise after patient did not get adequate nursing care

August 4 2015

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.


Inquiry finds Tayside doctors failed to diagnose stroke

July 30 2013

Tayside doctors failed to diagnose that an emergency patient had suffered a stroke, an inquiry has found. Instead they thought she had a migraine and sent her home. It was only when her GP referred her urgently to hospital that her condition was recognised. The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman has now ruled she did not receive proper treatment and has told NHS Tayside to change its procedures. The woman, named in the ombudsman’s report as Mrs C, attended a hospital accident and emergency department twice. It is not stated in the report if the incident took place at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee or at Perth Royal Infirmary. An NHS Tayside spokeswoman declined to identify the hospital, saying: “The ombudsman’s reports are always anonymised due to patient confidentiality, therefore we cannot release any further details.” The patient’s husband told the ombudsman that she had been displaying symptoms of stroke on both occasions. The second time she was discharged, even though she was unable to speak without slurring. The inquiry found that on her second visit to A&E it had been unreasonable for Mrs C to have been diagnosed as suffering from migraine. There was no record of either a FAST (face, arm, speech, time of event) assessment or of a ROSIER (record of stroke in emergency room) review to check if Mrs C had suffered a stroke. The ombudsman did not uphold a complaint that doctors had ignored the woman’s slurred speech as her medical notes clearly detailed the symptoms. It recommended that NHS Tayside apologise to the woman and her husband for the failings in her care. Managers were told they should review the processes governing referral to the on-call neurology team when a patient has symptoms consistent with hemiplegic migraine, which causes temporary weakness on one side of the body. The NHS Tayside spokeswoman said: “The board has accepted the recommendations in the report and will act on them accordingly.”


Fife Council planners blasted following series of bungles

July 28 2015

Council officials have been slammed for their handling of a contentious Fife planning application. The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman has issued a scathing report following a probe into the construction of a 54 foot “pergola” in the garden of a St Andrews pub. Locals had warned the structure at the West Port Bar would “scar” the town’s historic conservation area. However, the development was given the green light after a series of bungles by council planners. The ombudsman’s report reveals they: *wrongly reported no objections had been received *approved the application before the end of a statutory consultation period *failed to assess the impact on the conservation area For more on this story see The Courier or try our digital edition.


NHS Fife rapped for failings after couple tragically lost baby

August 28 2017

A Fife couple lost their baby after problems in managing problems in her pregnancy. Tragically, the mum to be lost her baby just days after undergoing tests for possible pre-eclampsia. The couple, known only as Mr and Mrs C, complained to the Scottish Ombudsman who found the board failed to conduct further tests to clarify Mrs C’s diagnosis. This was contrary to National Institute of Health and Care Excellence guidelines. Mrs C had increased blood pressure during her pregnancy, as well as slightly raised protein levels in her urine. These can both be signs of pre-eclampsia, a condition which can lead to serious complications both for mum and baby. When she was 38 weeks pregnant a plan was made for the baby to be induced in a week’s time. In the meantime she was admitted overnight to monitor her high blood pressure. She was also given a cardiotocography in a follow up appointment which showed some problems, including a slowing heartbeat, but staff thought this was down to Mrs C’s movements. She was discharged. But sadly, when she returned two days later for the induction her baby was found to have died. He was stillborn the next day. A post-mortem examination found Mrs C’s placenta had not been functioning properly, something consistent with pre-eclampsia. After taking independent advice the ombudsman upheld the Fife couple’s complaint about the management of her pregnancy. As well as failing to do additional tests to clarify her diagnosis – between high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia – he also found NHS Fife had failed to recognise two abnormalities on two CTG recordings. However, he did not uphold complaints about the continuity of care, the couple’s involvement in a clinical review or the bereavement support made available to them, although he did give NHS Fife feedback on those points. This included considering a business proposal for a bereavement midwife. NHS Fife Director of Nursing Helen Wright, said: “NHS Fife accepts the findings of the Ombudsman’s investigation report and we would like to publicly apologise to Mr and Mrs C for falling short of the expected standards of care during a traumatic time for them. “We strive to ensure our patients receive the highest standard of care and, where this has fallen short, we learn from our shortcomings and put in place measures to avoid any similar circumstances in future. “While we have only recently received the Ombudsman’s report, we have already started to enact its recommendations and these should all be in place over the coming weeks.”    


Ombudsman criticises Abertay University’s handling of bullying claim

May 1 2013

Abertay University has been told it failed to carry out a proper inquiry after a student claimed she was bullied. The woman was signed off by her GP and had to temporarily abandon her studies. She took her case to the Scottish public services ombudsman (SPSO) because she believed the university had not followed the correct procedures after she raised her complaint, and had not offered her reasonable care in terms of its mental welfare policy. The ombudsman’s report said: “Our investigation found that the university should have dealt with the complaint of bullying under its dealing with harassment policy, but did not do so. “It was investigated under the student disciplinary code and no evidence was found to discipline any student. “Our investigation concluded that there had been confusion over which procedure should have been followed and that the university had failed to fully investigate the harassment allegation.” The ombudsman said Abertay had not given due regard to the student as a potential victim of harassment and to the potential harmful effect on her wellbeing. There was no evidence of her being offered support and practical assistance by the university. An Abertay spokesman said: “Since the ruling, we have reviewed our procedures to take account of the issues raised.”


Council apologises following toilet blunder

May 9 2017

A young Fife disabled pupil had to wait for months until the council sorted out suitable toilet equipment. The council has been forced to apologise to the child and their mother for its failures. The mother, who has not been named, complained to the Scottish Ombudsman about the lack of toilet equipment for her youngster at the two schools the child attended. She said there had been no suitable toilet chair in place at either school for some time. When she asked for appropriate equipment it took months for it to be installed. The ombudsman found it was not reasonable for the council to have failed to ensure the appropriate apparatus was in place until the mother brought it to its attention. He also found there were “avoidable delays” following her request. In particular there was a delay of six weeks because of planned leave for one member of staff. “We considered that the council should have taken steps to ensure appropriate cover was in place, given the nature and length of the leave.” The ombudsman also said the council had failed to deliver accessories needed to install the adaptations in one of the schools. After this was identified by an occupational therapist, there was a delay of around three months before these were provided. “The council failed to provide an explanation for this error or subsequent delays,” the ombudsman said, adding he had also found the local authority had failed to record a number of discussions held with the mum about care arrangements for her child. He recommended the council apologise to the family, provide him with an explanation for the delays in delivering missing accessories and review its process for recording review meetings and discussions with parents. Education officer Angela Logue said the council had apologised to the family for the delay in responding to the request, but stressed that at no time was the young person left in “discomfort or distress”. “This was a one off case involving a number of Fife Council and NHS services. Unfortunately there were both avoidable and unavoidable delays in sourcing and fitting the specialist equipment that was requested. “Following the ombudsman’s decision we have put measures in place to improve communications between services and families,” she added.  

Angus & The Mearns

NHS Tayside patient launches legal action over post-surgery care

November 25 2013

NHS Tayside is facing legal action from a patient who claims he was left without follow-up care after surgery. The case has been revealed by the Scottish public services ombudsman after it cut short its investigation. The man, who has been identified only as Mr C, claimed he had been told that three sebaceous spots would be removed from his groin area, but they were still there after surgery. He had seven stitches and the wound opened up the day after he was discharged. An ombudsman’s report said: “He questioned why no follow-up treatment was planned for him and why nobody explained what the procedure would entail. He said that he did not give consent for anything other than the removal of the cysts. “The board explained that the proper procedure was carried out, to which Mr C had consented. In addition, staff had explained the procedure along with any potential risks of the surgery and an advice leaflet was provided on discharge from hospital.” NHS Tayside then confirmed that Mr C had begun legal action. The ombudsman then discontinued its investigation due to legal proceedings having begun.


Complaint against Tayside Police is rejected

January 31 2013

A complaint that Tayside Police failed to properly investigate an alleged threat to blow up a car has been rejected by an official inquiry. A man had told officers that someone trying to recover money from his son had said he would place an explosive device under the vehicle. He believed the force had not taken appropriate action and asked the Scottish public services ombudsman to intervene. The ombudsman’s report said a constable had established there was no corroboration of the allegation and for that reason no further action was taken at the time. The man, who has not been identified, later sent a letter repeating his claims. A sergeant then spoke to the person alleged to have made the threat who denied doing so and decided there was no new evidence available. The ombudsman said: “I am satisfied that Tayside Police has explained why no further action was taken in respect of the original allegations. “Essentially there was no support for these allegations and no additional information has been provided since that time. “In the absence of additional information becoming available, I do not consider it necessary to make any recommendation to Tayside Police to carry out any further work.”


Claims Stratheden Hospital patient was ‘dehumanised’ denied

October 13 2014

Claims that a distressed patient was “dehumanised” by hospital staff have been strenuously denied by NHS Fife. Daniel Muirhead was locked up without food and water and was dragged between wards at Stratheden Hospital in just his underwear, said his mother Chrys. The complaint was upheld by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO), which ordered the health authority to apologise to the Muirhead family. However, following the outcome of the probe, Dr Brian Montgomery, chief executive of NHS Fife, said that while the body would comply with the ombudsman’s findings, appropriate care had been provided by staff, given the challenging environment of the mental health unit. “At all times the primary concern of the psychiatric staff was the safety of both Mr Muirhead and other patients,” he said. “NHS Fife considers that the reporting of this matter does not fully reflect the full set of difficult circumstances faced by its staff on this occasion, nor does it reflect the full terms and findings of the SPSO letter that was issued in response to the complaints made.” For more on this story pick up a copy of The Courier or try our digital edition.