A MAN who had all his TEETH removed while waiting for a heart transplant has had his complaints against the Golden Jubilee National Hospital rejected.

But the hospital said it is standard for patients to have a dental assessment because infections can be life-threatening.

The patient, known as Mr C, raised a series of issues against the Dalmuir facility following his transplant.

He complained first to the hospital and then to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) that all his teeth were removed in preparation for the surgery. The centre then discontinued his treatment after the op and referred him elsewhere.

The hospital and ombudsmen argued the decisions were reasonable and rejected the concerns.

The ombudsman spoke to an independent consultant cardiologist and found, based on medical records, it was “appropriate for Mr C’s teeth to be removed”.

In its decision, the SPSO said: “This was because Mr C’s records showed he had significant dental and gum disease.

“Following transplant, Mr C would have to take long-term immunosuppressant medication. As a result, such dental issues would present an on-going risk of potentially life-threatening infection.

“Therefore, the hospital’s actions were appropriate, and we did not uphold this aspect of the complaint.”

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In a second complaint, Mr C raised the behaviour and attitude of staff during a ward round, claiming they spoke to him in an “aggressive and threatening manner”. The ombudsman said there was not sufficient evidence to confirm this.

His third point was the hospital board didn’t investigate or respond to his complaint appropriately.

The SPSO said the response could have been improved, particularly over a lack of records on who was spoken to as part of the complaint investigation.

But they said these were not “significant failings” that indicated the Mr C’s concerns weren’t investigated.

The patient also complained about the decision to discontinue his treatment. His clinical team concluded they could no longer provide safe and effective treatment.

The SPSO concluded: “We considered that the clinical team and the board acted appropriately and in line with relevant guidance. “We also found that the clinical team’s decision had been appropriately documented and justified.

“We recognised that this caused great upset and difficulty for Mr C. However, we did not consider their actions to be unreasonable.”

In response to the decision, an NHS Golden Jubilee spokesman said: “As a national NHS Board, we are dedicated to ensuring that patients receive the best possible experience from NHS Golden Jubilee.

"It is standard medical procedure for all patients on the heart transplant list to have a dental assessment.

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"Dental infections can be life threatening to these types of patients and that is why it is so important to have the necessary checks before surgery happens. Unfortunately, on some occasions, this may mean that teeth are removed for the benefit of the patient’s health.

"Although we do not comment on individual cases, we can confirm that our staff carried out their duties to the best of their abilities with their usual dedication to providing safe, effective and person centred care to our patients and their carers.

"NHS Golden Jubilee is committed to a strong values ethos, treating all patients, visitors and staff with dignity and respect at all times. Patient satisfaction has remained consistently over 90 per cent for the last 10 years and we work extremely hard to ensure our patients experience is as positive as possible.

"As an organisation that believes in continuous improvement, we actively encourage open lines of communication to discuss any aspect of patient or carer experience.

"We take all feedback and complaints extremely seriously, and even though the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) did not uphold the complaint, we have taken on board comments from the report to further improve aspects of the complaints procedure."