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Ombudsman criticises NHS bodies over disabled woman’s care

18 December 2007

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Three NHS bodies have been told to apologise to a disabled woman’s family after she was denied equipment for three years while they bickered over who should pay for it.

The 28-year-old, who is cared for by her parents, also has epilepsy and cerebral palsy, and had to endure “unsafe” sleeping arrangements during the dispute between Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust, Vale of Glamorgan Local Health Board, and Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust.

The specialist profiling bed she needed was not provided until October last year when the Vale of Glamorgan Local Health Board bought it, while reserving the right to seek reimbursement.

Adam Peat, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, said that where an individual has a clear need for an NHS service, all the NHS bodies concerned have a shared responsibility to ensure that there is no undue delay in the provision of the service pending a decision on which body should fund it.

Mr Peat recommended that the Local Health Board apologise to the parents on behalf of all three NHS bodies, and pay them the sum of £2,000 to be used for the benefit of their daughter.

A joint statement released by the Vale of Glamorgan Local Health Board, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust and Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust, said: “We would like to reiterate our sincere apologies for the distress that has been caused to both the patient and her family and we fully accept the findings and recommendations of the Ombudsman’s report.”

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales

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