Health board told to apologise over child’s care at local hospital

Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy

A health board has been ordered to apologise over the treatment of a child at a hospital.

A woman lodged a complaint against NHS Fife about the care provided to her daughter at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

Among the complaints, the person — known only as Mrs C — said a nurse was “unwelcoming”, appropriate observations were not carried out and the child was not properly examined.

Watchdog the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) launched a probe and its report said: “Mrs C complained about the care and treatment provided to her daughter by staff at Victoria Hospital.

“Mrs C complained that when they arrived at the hospital, the nurse was unwelcoming and did not acknowledge how ill her daughter was.

“Mrs C also said that throughout the admission, nursing staff did not carry out appropriate observations.

“Mrs C went on to complain that when her daughter was assessed by medical staff, she wasn’t thoroughly examined and a diagnosis of viral infection was made without full consideration of her symptoms and condition.”

The SPSO took independent advice and found staff did not provide Mrs C’s daughter withappropriate care.

It added: “We found national guidance on children with fever was not appropriately followed by staff.

“We also found that, while examinations carried out by staff were appropriate, they did not give enough consideration to the possibility of a serious illness.

“We upheld both aspects of Mrs C’s complaint.”

In the recommendations, NHS Fife was told to apologise to Mrs C for failing to provide her daughter with appropriate care. It also has been told to make a range of improvements.

NHS Fife chief executive Paul Hawkins said: “I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our apology to this young patient and her family, and to provide reassurance that steps have been taken to avoid similar failings in future, including the development of a new educational resource.

“We note the ombudsman’s recommendations, which have enabled us to reflect and learn from this regrettable occasion, where care fell short of our high standards.”