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Damning Reports Suggest More Never Events than Ever at UK Hospitals

Worrying reports into NHS Hospitals suggest that the number of ‘never events’ taking place is on the rise.


Worrying reports into NHS Hospitals suggest that the number of ‘never events’ taking place is on the rise.

According to one report by the BBC, more than 750 UK hospital patients have suffered in the past four years because of medical negligence by hospital staff. The preventable mistakes which have taken place are so serious they are referred to by the Department of Health as ‘never events’. They should literally never happen.

The incidents recorded include operating on the wrong body parts, installing the wrong implants and prosthetics and even leaving surgical equipment inside patients after an operation.

Now, the NHS is introducing stringent new measures to ensure patient safety, and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued formal warnings to a number of the worst offending healthcare facilities.

Derriford Hospital, part of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, was one of the facilities warned to make urgent changes to its practices in order to improve the standard of surgery and care for clients; after recording the second highest number of never events in England.  According to a report in the Guardian, these incidents included an angioplasty (an operation to widen narrow or blocked arteries) carried out on the wrong side of the heart.

The number of accidents led to an investigation by the CQC. They reviewed the hospital according to nine national standards and found that it fell short in five of them. But Derriford is far from the only hospital under the spotlight.

Medical staff all over the UK blame unrealistic timetables which prevent them from acting accordingly to the unexpected incidents that occur every day in high traffic hospital environments. Investigators concur, partly blaming poor staffing levels and a lack of supervision for the increase in cases of medical negligence.

The bottom line for medical negligence solicitors is that the blame doesn’t lie with the victims of these accidents. Some even suggest that the system for reporting never events is flawed and the medical negligence problem is even larger than it appears.

The Department of Health has identified 25 categories of preventable incidents, including retained foreign objects, wrong site surgery and misplaced feeding tubes. But commentators argue that the hundreds of incidents which occur every year cannot all be categorised in this way.

This highlights the importance of professional specialist legal advice  for the victims of medical negligence, in order to clarify whether they have grounds for a claim, and help them to take the right course of action.


 Never Events
 UK Hospitals
 Stephensons Solicitors
 medical negligence

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