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NHS blunders rise by 60% in five years as op bungles hit 14,000 and severe cases soar


Surgical blunders have soared 60% in five years – and extreme mistakes are now a daily occurrence in the NHS.

Some 13,921 people were treated for damage caused by botched operations in the year to March 31 – up from 8,695 in England in 2016/17.

Cases involved an “unintentional cut, puncture, perforation or haemorrhage”.

Separately, a report from NHS England shows 134 patients fell victim to so-called Never Events from April 1 to July 31.

Extreme errors included two women left infertile after their ovaries were wrongly removed. Injections and invasive tests were given to the wrong patients and in 39 cases foreign objects, such as drill bits and wires, were left inside bodies.

There were 57 cases of surgery on the wrong body part and 12 instances of patients being given the wrong implant or prosthesis.

The Royal College of Surgeons in England said: “If the system is overstretched, there is a risk that mistakes will happen.”

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “When Never Events occur, the physical and psychological effects can stay with a patient for life.”

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Source: The Mirror, 1 October 2022

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