South West Wales

Health board told to apologise for dying man's painful wait

A health board has been told to apologise to a Pembrokeshire widow and pay £1,000 after her husband had to wait in pain for three hours to be seen by a doctor shortly before he died.

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales said Hywel Dda University Health Board had failed to ensure there would be out-of-hours GP cover for that time.

The man died in July 2013.

Both the health board and the Welsh NHS Ambulance Trust have agreed to follow the ombudsman's recommendations.

Ombudsman Nick Bennett said the result of the delay was the man, whose identity has not been released, underwent a significant period of pain and anxiety in his final hours.

A report said the patient was receiving "end of life" palliative care at home, and his widow complained he was "denied the chance to die with dignity and in peace with his family around him".

She and her daughters were left distraught by the experience.

The investigation also found a paramedic who attended after the death did not understand his responsibility and had unnecessarily called the police.

Mr Bennett said both the health board and the Welsh Ambulance NHS Trust had agreed to follow his recommendations on reminders and a review of procedures for staff.

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