Maladministration by two NHS health boards, one in Wales and the other in England, led to “unremedied injustice and hardship”, according to a joint watchdog’s report.
The failings led to a mother and daughter being forced to spend £31,000 of their savings while the two boards squabbled over which should pay for treatment for the younger woman.
Although the daughter, referred to as Miss S, lived in south Wales, she had become depressed and developed anorexia while staying in England with a friend.
Because her health was deteriorating, and neither board would pay for treatment, her mother was forced to use her life savings to pay for private care.
The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales and Health Service Ombudsman for England have now found maladministration and service failure by Health Commission Wales (HCW), Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, and Plymouth Teaching Primary Care Trust.
Their joint report says that this resulted in “unremedied injustice and hardship”, and that the money should be reimbursed by the HCW.
Says John Peters, Cardiff and Vale acting medical director: “We are working … to put in place specialist local community teams to support patients with eating disorders.”
John Peters, acting medical director of Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, said: “We are working with Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and Cwm Taf Local Health Boards to put in place specialist local community teams to support patients with eating disorders, with funding provided by the Welsh Assembly Government.”