Worrying numbers of NHS ‘never events’

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There have been some worrying numbers surrounding the volumes of so-called NHS ‘never events’ in recent times, and some of the instances are shocking.

NHS ‘never events’ are essentially serious errors and mistakes that should never happen because they should be completely preventable. They include things like the wrong body parts being operated on or removed, or the wrong areas inside the body being operated on. They also include incorrect surgeries and tools being left inside patients after procedures.

Recent data has suggested that there has been a worrying number of the so-called ‘never events’, which is a cause for concern.

Staggering numbers of NHS ‘never events’

Between April 2018 and July 2018, there were reportedly 621 NHS ‘never events’.

These included incidents such as:

  • Operations being conducted on the wrong body part. One example included the wrong toe being removed, whereas another involved the incorrect part of a colon being removed;
  • Operations that should never have been needed and / or where the incorrect operation to conduct on the patient;
  • Surgical equipment left inside patients, including gloves, chest drains and drill bits.

As the name for these incidents suggests, they simply should never happen at all. There are plenty of policies and procedures in place to safeguard patients from such avoidable and serious errors, which is why it’s alarming to hear of so many occurring in recent times.

I’ve had a few operations myself. I had huge permanent marker indications on the correct body parts, which followed checking of notes and questions to me to ask if they were carrying out the procedure on the correct area. These questions were asked on several occasion as well.

Lasting and severe impacts

When serious cases of negligence like these occur, the impact on the victim is of course substantial. Patients’ lives can be changed forever through a totally avoidable mistake.

And this must be recognised in terms of the victims who can then claim for medical negligence compensation, and for the avoidable costs to the NHS. Whether these are simple cases of incredibly poor practice, or whether funding constraints, staffing issues and being overworked is a factor, the underlying causes must be addressed.

What can you do as a victim of NHS ‘never events’?

If you’ve fallen victim to a so-called ‘never event’, you’re completely within your rights to make a claim for medical negligence compensation.

You can speak to our team for free, no-obligation assistance now by calling 0800 634 75 75. If it’s anything like the above examples, you should be able to succeed with a claim.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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