NHS England to publish quarterly lists of ‘never events’

  • Posted

Posted 02/09/2013

The BBC has reported that the NHS in England will publish quarterly lists of ‘never events’.

The admission came as part of a response to a freedom of information request from the magazine, Health Service Journal, which sought a list of serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents which are never supposed to happen in the NHS.

‘Never events’ include foreign objects such as surgical instruments or swabs being left inside a patient’s body, patients being fitted with the wrong implant, and surgery on the wrong body part, or even the wrong person.

NHS England has collected the data from trusts since the start of the 2013-14 financial year. There were 299 such events last year, almost double the amount in 2011-12, when there were 163.

Sophie Bales, a Medical Injury Solicitor at Ashtons Legal, comments: “Never events are so-named because they should never happen. Therefore it is unacceptable that the number of these incidents is rising. It is good news, however, that NHS England intend to publish these events quarterly, broken down by hospital trust. This is a positive step towards a more open and transparent NHS.”


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