Two Essex NHS trusts among worst in UK for avoidable ‘Never Events’

A report by NHS England covering the period between the 1st of April 2014 and the 31st of March 2015 indicates that Essex’s Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust and Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust are among the worst in the country for number of “never event” incidents taking place.

“Never events” are normally deemed to be “serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents”, which occur when a trust fails to implement national guidance or safety recommendations. In some cases never events may amount to clinical negligence, meaning the victims may be eligible for clinical negligence compensation. A total of 308 such instances were recorded nationwide during the period covered by the report, and two trusts reporting the highest number of incidences were right here in Essex.

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust were found to have recorded a provisional sub-total of 9 never events in the last year, the highest number of any trust in the UK. These events were found to consist of 5 instances of patients retaining foreign objects following surgery, 1 instance of a patient being provided with the wrong implant / prosthesis and 3 instances of surgery being performed at the wrong site.

Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust were also found to have incurred a provisional 7 never events. 6 of these related to surgery being performed at the wrong site, with another more irregular incident making up the final transgression.

These never events highlight serious, fundamental failures in the management of two of Essex’s major trusts and a failure to adequately cater for patients’ safety and well-being, which in some instances could amount to clinical negligence. The occurrence of preventable medical failures may point to inadequacy of hospital safety procedures and gaps within these, exposing patients to unnecessary risk.

Understandably you or a family member might now question the standard of care at these trusts, and Jason Brady, clinical negligence lawyer at Blackwater Law solicitors in Essex has addressed the potential for clinical negligence having occurred:

“These figures showing Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust and Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trusts to have some of the highest incidences of Never Events of any NHS Trust in the UK suggest there needs to be some consideration of changes to hospital services procedures.

“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 can even risk their long-term health and wellbeing.”

If you or someone you care about have concerns about care that you have received at these trusts, or indeed at any trust within the region, you can contact Blackwater Law today on 0800 083 5500. You will get free initial advice from a clinical negligence specialist, who will quickly identify whether you may be entitled to compensation.