HEALTH chiefs have apologised to the family of a patient who died from a heart attack shortly after a change in medication.

Medics at an undisclosed Lanarkshire hospital failed to record who had made the decision to take the individual, known only as A, off Furosemide and Ramipril for eight days during an admission for treatment.

The patient was later readmitted having suffered a heart attack and died. A child of A, known as C, complained about their parent’s treatment and an independent watchdog found several failings from staff.

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This included a failure to record who made the decision to take the patient off the medication and the rationale behind it.

However, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) found it was reasonable to stop A’s medication at the time, but did say NHS Lanarkshire chiefs had not given due consideration as to how it might have had an impact on readmission, further heart problems, and subsequent death. 

A ruling from the SPSO added: “We also found that A’s discharge letter was not appropriately updated.”

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The watchdog has now told individual staff to ensure they include this particular case in their annual appraisal “as part of reflective practice” and to reflect on the decisions made.

Dr Jane Burns, NHS Lanarkshire medical director, said: “We regret any instance where we fail to provide the highest standards of care for our patients. We have fully accepted the recommendations within the ombudsman’s reports and will develop an action plan to address them. The lessons learned will be shared to help avoid similar occurrences in future.”