The number of ‘never events’ at each NHS Trust in England has been published, with scandal-hit Colchester Hospital announced as the worst performing.

As defined by the National Patient Safety Association, ‘never events’ are “serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented.”

Last year the list of ‘never events’ included 25 patient safety incidents, including retained swabs and wrong-site surgery.

“Utterly unacceptable”

From 2014 to 2015, Colchester University Hospital Trust reported nine never events. Five related to items being left inside patients, one was a wrong implant, while three cases involved wrong-site surgery.

There were also 420 serious incidents at the Trust in the past year. The news comes as a police investigation continues into allegations the Trust manipulated data to make it appear as though cancer targets were being hit.

King’s College Hospital NHS Trust had the second highest number of never events, declaring eight in the past year. Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust both reported seven never events between 2014 and 2015.

Chief executive of the Patients Association Katherine Murphy said: “Incidents of wrong site surgery and retained foreign objects are utterly unacceptable and pose a huge risk to patient safety.”

“A visit to hospital can be high stressful at the best of times and at the very least, patients deserve to be treated in a safe, regulated environment.”

Talk to a solicitor

If you or your loved one has suffered harm because of a serious patient safety incident, please get in touch with us to discuss your options. We specialise in medical negligence claims and can advise whether or not it is possible to pursue a claim for compensation.

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