The NHS has apologised to the family of a man who died after weeks of pain caused by “inappropriate medical care” at a Vale hospital.

Eric Wallace died from pancreatic cancer at the Vale of Leven Hospital after initially being diagnosed as having depression.

Eric’s sister, Susan Martin, has launched a scathing attack on the NHS for the way he was treated and “systematic failures and lack of equipment” at the hospital which, she says, is “not fit for purpose in its present state”.

She says the radiology department failed to pick up an abnormality in his scan and Eric spent weeks in pain as his condition deteriorated.

Susan says it was only after a clinical psychologist interviewed Eric and stated he was not depressed another scan was carried out.

This week, a spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde told the Reporter: “We would like to reiterate our sincere condolences to the family on the very sad loss of their brother.”

They added that they had shared the family’s concerns with senior clinical and managerial team members “to ensure learning from their poor experience across all our hospitals”.

Susan told the Reporter: “Eric spent six weeks in the Vale, five without proper diagnosis of his condition, which resulted in inappropriate medical care and much suffering.

“Consultants thought he was depressed following the death of his partner several months earlier. We knew it was physical because he was in a lot of pain.”

Eric – who was 81 when he died in December 2016, seven months after his partner Dorothy – had run a boating business on Loch Lomond and was an avid peace campaigner, regularly holding solo vigils outside the Faslane navy base.

Susan and her husband Tom met senior staff at the hospital a year ago to express their displeasure at the treatment Eric, from Helensburgh, had received.

She said: “We were assured that our complaints would be acted upon.

“At a follow-up meeting last week it was admitted that apart from some minor cosmetic changes, there had not been much progress.

“We will now take our case to the ombudsman.

“The hospital has systematic failures and lacks many fundamental items of equipment that are essential to a modern health service.

“For example, there is no resident consultant. Instead they rotate between three hospital sites and don’t usually see their patients more than once.”

The health board’s spokeswoman said this week: “We would like to reiterate our sincere condolences to the family on the very sad loss of their brother.

“We have met with the family and listened to the concerns they raised about their brother’s care and are disappointed that the family remain unsatisfied.

“When the patient was admitted, appropriate investigations were carried out in order to reach a definitive cause of his symptoms.

“We wholeheartedly apologise that the family faced challenges when they requested updates on their brother’s condition and care plan. We took on board the family’s feedback in relation to the lack of activities available when patients are confined to bed and were able to advise that we had had additional bedside televisions installed. “We have also recruited volunteers who visit the ward to spend time chatting with patients.”

Dumbarton MSP, Jackie Baillie, said it was “terrible” that, given the length of time after Mr Wallace’s death, the changes promised by the health board to improve the hospital had not been made.