Should never events ever happen?
The BBC recently reported that a hospital operated on the wrong finger in one of six serious incidents recorded by an NHS trust last year.
East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs three hospitals, recorded six "never events" in 2017/18.
What is a “never event?”
A never event is an "entirely avoidable" incident which could have caused serious harm or death. In these cases the serious harm or death was to patients.
Clearly, the NHS answer to these events is that they are extremely rare when you take into account the number of surgeries that are carried out annually by all of the NHS Trusts across the country.
BUT……they do happen!
In another incident listed, a gall bladder bag was found inside a patient following surgery which took place the previous year.
Another never event involved a woman being discharged with a needle left inside her after having a baby, while a different patient received the wrong blood type during a transfusion.
A spokesman for East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust said: "Last year, the trust recorded six different never events - which is six too many, but should be seen in the context of over 720,000 patient contacts across our hospitals over the same period.”
The fact remains that there is a human cost to these incidents and, although the Trusts do try to learn from them after they happen, that is not much consolation to the victim of the “never event”.
We know that “never events” do happen. So, what do you do if you are the victim of such an incident and you have suffered harm or damage as a result?
You could make a claim for compensation.
At Swain & Co Solicitors, our Clinical Negligence team are experts in their field. They specialise in working with patients who have suffered damage and loss as a result of negligent medical care and treatment. Every year we recover hundreds of thousands of pounds for our clients’ as well as ensuring that they get the answers they want about what went wrong.