Colchester University Hospital Trust has most ‘never events’ in country

By Blackwater Law

A provisional report by NHS England has highlighted trusts where ‘never events’ have occurred in the last year, with Colchester University Hospital Trust top in England.

This report follows a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which rated the hospital as ‘inadequate’ with significant issues surrounding safety within its departments.

‘Never events’ can be defined as ‘serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents’ which occur if the healthcare provider has failed to implement ‘nation guidance or safety recommendations’. 271 serious incidents were reported as never events last year in total.

The NHS England report, published in March this year was developed to ‘highlight potential weaknesses in how an organisation manages fundamental safety processes’, shows that from 1 April 2014 to 28 February 2015 a total of 9 ‘never events’ took place at Colchester hospital. 5 of these incidents resulted in the retention of a foreign object after a procedure. In addition, in 3 procedures at the hospital, surgeons operated on patients in the wrong site and another the incorrect implant/prosthesis procedure was carried out.

These serious incidents, which are ‘wholly preventable’, highlight key issues with the safety procedures implemented at the hospital, and gaps within these, causing serious failures to patient care and basic standard safety procedures.

The report was followed by an updated policy framework released by NHS England to be implemented from 1 April 2015 and follows the most recent update in October 2012. This recent policy changes suggests the NHS have acknowledged change needs to be implemented following the most recent statistics. Moreover, although the report is subject to change, once confirmed it still highlights clear issues within NHS trusts across the country in their focus on following safety procedures and the impact of these events on patients.

Commenting on these recent findings, Jason Brady, clinical negligence lawyer at Blackwater Law solicitors in Essex said:

“It is clear that along with the Care Quality Commission placing Colchester Hospital into ‘special measures’ and rating the hospital inadequate in a number of areas, these figures showing Colchester Hospital to have the highest incidence of Never Events of any NHS Trust in the UK suggest there needs to be some consideration of changes to hospital services.

“Individuals are entitled to receive the correct standard of care with any treatment received. To meet this standard of care a medical professional must act in accordance with a practice accepted as proper by a responsible body of medical opinion.

“The occurrence of a Never Event, such as a foreign object being left inside a patient following surgery, can cause significant pain and suffering for the patient and even risk their long-term health and wellbeing. In such cases, a patient may be entitled to receive clinical negligence compensation. It is recommended the patient speak with a specialist clinical negligence solicitor that can offer them initial advice.”

If you believe you or a member of your family have a claim for clinical negligence, call the clinical negligence specialists at Blackwater Law Solicitors for free initial advice. Call us today on 0800 083 5500.

This information is referenced from the ‘Never Events list 2015-16’ found on the NHS England website.