"Mum's treatment at Gilbert Bain Hospital"

About: Gilbert Bain Hospital

(as a relative),

My mum had terminal cancer and was in a lot of pain because of excess fluid build-up. Her GP put in a referral for her to go to the Gilbert Bain Hospital to have the fluid drained off.

The Doctor's at the Gilbert Bain Hospital blocked the referral on the grounds of " wait and see what the Doctors at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary are going to do with this patient ". This appeared to me to mean, if they weren't going to give any treatment then Gilbert Bain didn't want to treat my mum.

The GP over ruled the block and informed my mum to get your things ready as she was booked in for the next day.

My mum didn't make it. I think the care and treatment by mum got from the doctors we came into contact with at the Gilbert Bain Hospital was shocking. It seems to me that in this case the main priority is not what's best for the patient.

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Response from Corporate Services Manager/Complaints Officer, Chief Executive's Department, NHS Shetland

Thank you for expressing your concerns regarding the care your mother received. Firstly I would like to express my condolences for the loss of your mother.

Without knowing all the clinical details of your mother’s case it is difficult to provide a precise answer to the issues you raise. I can only assume that the doctors in the Gilbert Bain Hospital felt that the consultant(s) in Aberdeen were in overall charge of your mother’s case and were awaiting their decision regarding her management. This was an entirely logical and reasonable decision but it was extremely unfortunate that, with hindsight, it was not the best option.

Managing a person who is terminally ill requires sensitivity and good teamwork - generally the care offered by the Gilbert Bain Hospital, the general practitioners and community nursing services within Shetland is good, but it is clear that in your mother’s case the care could have been better.

In order to help all concerned learn from your mother’s case it would be extremely helpful if you could make contact with me so that a review of who made what decisions and why can be undertaken and then all involved can reflect on the outcome and learn from it to ensure the care provided other people in a similar situation is as good as it can be.

Dr Roger Diggle

Medical Director

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