LONG delays in treatment for a female patient at Coventry’s University Hospital trust has led to criticism from a government watchdog following an investigation.
The woman – referred to only as Miss Y – had to wait ten months for treatment after she reported “hip pain”.
It meant the hospital missed the 18-week maximum government waiting time for treatment under a consultant.
It led to her health declining and she was unable to continue her career in sports coaching.
But she only received £500 in compensation – after the hospital initially wrongly claimed it could not consider a claim for compensation and she would need to get legal advice.
The case is included in a report of complaints investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman between December 2014 and January this year.
The University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Trust (UHCW) – which runs the hospital in Walsgrave and St Cross in Rugby – said the delay was due to a lack of available clinicians.
The report states the Trust had “failed to give treatment in good time”.
It states: “Miss Y was referred to the Trust’s young adult hip preserving service with hip pain.
“Staff told Miss Y there could be a delay of up to six months before she was treated, but in fact it was ten months before her treatment started because of a lack of available clinicians.
“During this time, Miss Y’s condition deteriorated and she was also unable to continue with the sports coaching that was part of her career.
“The Trust apologised to Miss Y for the delays in treatment.
“However, while the Trust was aware of the cause of most of the delays, it made no provision for alternative sources of treatment.
“Under the NHS Constitution, patients have a legal right to start their NHS consultant-led treatment within 18 weeks of referral.
“The Trust was aware of this right and failed to take action.
“It also wrongly said that it could not consider requests for compensation under the NHS complaints procedure and suggested that Miss Y take legal advice if she wished to pursue this.
“The Trust acknowledged that there had been a systemic failure on its part and paid Miss Y compensation of £500 for the distress its failing caused her.”