Highlands & Islands

Woman's brain tumour found after her death

Raigmore Hospital
Image caption The woman's care included surgery and a neurological examination at Raigmore

NHS Highland and a number of local health professionals have been criticised over their care of a woman who later died of a brain tumour.

She was admitted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness on a number of occasions after suffering severe headaches.

However, despite surgery and extensive tests the existence of a tumour was not discovered until after her death.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) investigated and found failings in the standards of care offered.

NHS Highland said it had apologised to the woman's family and also carried out an internal review of her care.

The woman, who has not been named, suffered from a number of physical disabilities and other conditions, according to the SPSO report on its investigation.

Headaches and vomiting

She sought advice from her GP after experiencing headaches in December 2013 and was referred to Raigmore where she had surgery to remove a nasal ulcer.

The patient subsequently returned to her GP after suffering further headaches and vomiting.

She was seen by a neurologist who diagnosed occipital nerve compression. However, while awaiting an appointment for an MRI scan she died at home.

The SPSO said its investigation found failings in the standards of care offered to the woman by her GP practice, NHS Highland's out-of-hours service and in relation to the neurological examination recorded at Raigmore, where the ombudsman said there had been a failure to review a CT scan of her sinuses.

The SPSO has made eight recommendations including that an apology be offered to her family.

NHS Highland said it could not comment on the clinical detail of individual cases.

A spokesman added: "However, we wish to state that we apologised unreservedly to the patient's family and acknowledged the deficits in care and treatment provided to their late daughter.

"The board has taken on fully the ombudsman's recommendations and conducted an internal review which was shared with the family."

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