Published 30th March 2016 | Medical Negligence

NHS ‘never events’ still happening and putting lives in danger

NHS Never Events Image 18.02.16

Leading medical negligence solicitors Osborne Morris & Morgan describe new findings a disgrace

A recent analysis by the Patients Association has found that more than 1,000 NHS patients in England in the past four years have suffered from serious and yet avoidable mistakes.

A case of a man who had a whole testicle removed instead of a troublesome cyst is just one example of the so-called never events reported in the analysis.

Leighton Buzzard-based solicitors, Osborne Morris & Morgan, a leading firm of medical negligence experts, have described the findings as “disgraceful, but not surprising”, calling for the time to come for all cases of avoidable harm to be investigated, reviewed and a national plan to be implemented.

Gary Williams, Partner and Medical Negligence Solicitor at the firm, said:

“The fact that so many of these “Never Events” are still happening is clearly appalling, but it is important to realise that huge numbers of avoidable mistakes occur across the country every day.

“The effect of these mistakes can be devastating for the patient, their family and their friends, yet the NHS as a whole is not addressing the causes of these mistakes.”

“There are no national rules or guidance for how investigations into mistakes should be carried out. Individual hospitals investigate their own errors, and unsurprisingly they usually conclude that they were not responsible for these mistakes.

“However, when the Health Service Ombudsman recently reviewed 150 of these investigations, they concluded that the Hospitals had failed to identify mistakes in 73% of cases”.

Other incidents of never events include patients receiving the wrong blood type during transfusions and others being given the wrong drugs.

The Press Association analysis showed there were:

  • 254 never events from April 2015 to the end of December 2015
  • 306 never events from April 2014 to March 2015
  • 338 never events from April 2013 to March 2014
  • 290 never events from April 2012 to March 2013

Patients who believe they have experienced a medical mistake are advised to seek advice from a professional legal team.

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