A PREGNANT woman experiencing "abdominal pain and bleeding" was wrongly made to wait days for a scan by hospital staff, a watchdog has ruled.

The lady was told she was experiencing a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy (where a fertilised egg fatally develops outside the womb) when she arrived in hospital in the Forth Valley area.

The Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO) found she was told to return for a scan "in several days".

However, the watchdog ruled she should have been offered one within 24 hours, or as soon as possible, and NHS Forth Valley has been told to apologise for the error.

In its ruling, the ombudsman said the lady – identified only as C – made several complaints about her treatment.

It said: "C complained that the board did not offer a scan at the time of presentation, keep them in for observation or discuss treatment options.

"C felt that, as a result of the delay in scanning, their condition deteriorated, and they had fewer treatment options when they attended another hospital several days later."

After consulting several medical experts, the SPSO held that it was reasonable C was not scanned outwith scanning hours, or kept in for observation.

But the ombudsman said: "We found that C should have been offered a scan within 24 hours of presenting at the hospital, or failing this, as soon as scanning services were available, as opposed to being given the next routine scan appointment.

"On this basis, we upheld the complaint."

The SPSO told NHS Forth Valley to apologise to C for the failure to scan her in a timely manner.

And the health board was also told to ensure that in future, patients requiring emergency scanning should not experience similar delays.

To read the SPSO's full ruling, visit tinyurl.com/y2m33wsm.