Hundreds of patients have suffered due to NHS blunders so serious they should never happen, new data shows.
Some 621 'never events' occurred in NHS hospitals between April 2018 and July this year – the equivalent of nine patients every week, according to data obtained by PA news agency. The figures show doctors have operated on the wrong body parts and left surgical tools (including surgical gloves, chest drains and drill bits) inside patients many times over.
Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said: “Wrong site surgery incidents are preventable safety instances that can have devastating consequences for the patient and their family." “People who suffer harm because of mistakes can suffer serious physical and psychological effects for the rest of their lives, and that should never happen to anyone who seeks treatment from the NHS."
Professor Derek Alderson, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: “While these cases are very rare, never should mean never."
“NHS staff are there to care for patients, so knowing you have caused harm is incredibly distressing. It is vital that all theatre staff use, and are involved in, the World Health Organisation pre- and post-operative checklist process, as these have been designed to help prevent serious incidents."
“It is also important that the NHS continues to promote a culture of openness and transparency, both in terms of publishing surgeons’ outcomes and the number of ‘never events’ that, sadly, occur."
Source: ITV News, 16 September 2019