AN elderly woman with dementia who spent time in hospital after falling at home was given the wrong type of food, a watchdog has found. 

The patient, known only as Mrs A, was later diagnosed with pneumonia and readmitted to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary only to die a short time later. 

However, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) threw out a complaint from the woman's son that medics at the hospital had failed to care for her properly. 

READ MORE: Patient wins case over botched aneurysm surgery at Glasgow's QEUH

Instead, the body upheld his concern his mum – who had difficulty swallowing – had been given the wrong meal and the nursing team had failed to escalate her worsening condition to medical staff. 

A ruling published by the SPSO read: "We took independent advice from a nurse. We found that the nursing staff took reasonable action to try to address Mrs A's nutritional needs. 

"However, we found that on one occasion, Mrs A was given the wrong meal for her diet. 

"We also found that when Mrs A's condition worsened during her first admission, nursing staff failed to escalate this to medical staff. 

"These failings had been identified and acknowledged by the board."

The woman's son, known as Mr C, also claimed it had been wrongly assumed his mum struggled to eat due to her advanced dementia when instead the pneumonia was to blame. 

But an independent consultant said it was reasonable to attribute this to her initial illness and the watchdog found the woman's later disease has been treated "appropriately" as they dismissed that aspect of his complaint. 

The body stated: "Mr C complained that the board had failed to provide Mrs A with reasonable medical care and treatment. 

"In particular, Mr C felt that Mrs A's swallowing difficulties were wrongly attributed to her having advanced dementia. 

"Mr C felt that Mrs A was not given appropriate treatment for her pneumonia because of this. We took independent advice from a consultant geriatrician. 
"We found that it was reasonable that Mrs A's swallowing difficulties were attributed to her having advanced dementia. 

READ MORE: NHS Lanarkshire chiefs sorry over mix-up in change of asthmatic patient's inhaler

"We also found that overall, Mrs A's pneumonia was treated appropriately; and there was no evidence that it was left untreated because of her having advanced dementia. We did not uphold this aspect of the complaint."

A NHS GGC spokesman said: "We recognise the issues highlighted in relation to the care of the patient. We are very sorry about the matters that have been raised and can confirm we have written to those involved in the cases to express our apologies. 

"The Ombudsman’s recommendations have been discussed by the multi-disciplinary team and actions have been implemented to ensure lessons are learned from these cases and shared with appropriate staff."