A BBC investigation has found that 750 patients over the last 4 years have had medical accidents so serious that they should never have happened.
These medical blunders include leaving instruments inside people and operating on the wrong body parts. The Department of Health categorises these as ‘never events’.
NHS England has admitted that these figures are way too high and have created new measures to ensure patient safety.
The Department of Health categorised 25 incidents that should never happen if national safety recommendations are followed by medical staff. The BBC made Freedom of Information requests to NHS trusts and found that the majority of medical mistakes fell into four categories.
- 322 cases of foreign objects being left inside people during operations
- 214 cases of surgery being carried out on the wrong body part
- 73 cases of tubes used for feeding patients or for administering medication being inserted into a person’s lungs
- 58 cases of the wrong implants or prostheses being fitted
Patrick Oliver, expert medical negligence lawyer at Swain & Co says, “These figures are truly shocking.”
NHS England says that the risk of a ‘never event’ happening to a person is one in 20,000.
Patrick adds, “This will be little comfort to those who have suffered as a result of a medical mistake that should never have happened in the first place.”
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