East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership (EAHSCP) has sent an apology to the family of a care home resident who died the week after a "medicine protocol breach" was identified.

An investigation was launched into the matter, with a social worker determining that no further action was required.

But the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) upheld the complaint and told the health and social care partnership to issue an apology.

The care home resident is referred to as 'A', while their relative, who raised an issue against the investigation, is referred to as 'C' in the findings report by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO).

Recommendations from the SPSO included EAHSCP apologising to 'C' for failings that were identified.

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The Care Inspectorate separately investigated concerns relating to how 'A' was treated. Their investigation found failings and provided recommendations to the home.

Following these findings, 'C' said that EAHSCP's investigation was "faulty", according to the report.

'C' received a stage two complaint response letter from the partnership, but the ombudsman said the response had not fully considered C’s concerns.

SPSO then asked the partnership to provide a further response to the complaint, but 'C' remained dissatisfied with the partnership’s second response.

The report adds: "We (SPSO) found that the partnership had a duty to investigate the concerns raised in keeping with ASP legislation.

"We noted that this matter had been investigated by a single social worker.

"However, we found that the Care Inspectorate were better placed to investigate the matter in keeping with the Health and Social Care Standards, with the partnership’s role being to liaise with the Care Inspectorate and the care home regarding the outcome and recommendations."

SPSO also recommended that EAHSCP should ensure complaints are correctly identified and processed in accordance with their complaints handling procedure.

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In response to the findings, EAHSCP said: "East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership has accepted in full each of the three recommendations made by the SPSO. 

"A full apology in relation to the matters raised has been issued to 'C' covering the sufficiency of investigation, communication and practice related to formal or informal complaint handling.  

"Any matters of professional decision-making involved in the case have been discussed as appropriate and a practice briefing note will be prepared so that learning can be embedded. The SPSO has been provided with evidence of these actions."