"Time limits for complaints to and about the NHS in Scotland"

About: Care Opinion Stirling Royal Infirmary / General Surgery

(as the patient),

4 years ago I had an operation in Stirling Royal Infirmary to reverse a colostomy.

This operation went badly wrong, resulting in me having permanent back pain, insulin dependent diabetes, psoriasis, inoperable hernias, disfigurement and a dead kidney.

I am still being treated at Glasgow Royal Infirmary for an unsuccessful skin graft following the huge open wound I was left with.

I have never had an explanation as to what went wrong. I have a Medical Expert's opinion that there was definite Medical Negligence. All I get from NHS Forth Valley is that any complaint is now time-barred.

I note that you also have a 3 year time limit. Why?

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Response from James Munro, Chief executive, Care Opinion

picture of James Munro

Dear Drummerboy

I was sorry to read of your experience. I can’t respond for the NHS, but I did want to respond to your question about why Patient Opinion itself has a time limit of 3 years for posting experiences.

The answer, from my perspective, relates to our purpose. Our focus is on how stories from patients and carers can be used to make practical improvements in services, in more-or-less real time.

We’ve taken the view that postings about events which happened some time ago – while they may be very important – are hard to use to make changes in the present. Postings about events over 3 years ago may be raising concerns about issues which have been addressed, or are no longer possible to put right.

We understand that, for some serious or clinical matters, even after a long time there will still be lessons to be learned and even justice to be done. Such things are probably beyond the ability of Patient Opinion to help with, and need formal procedures.

I hope this helps explain our thinking on the 3 year time limit.

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