Over the past four years 750 patients have suffered due to preventable mistakes made whilst they were patients at NHS hospitals.
Incidents such as operating on the wrong body part or leaving instruments inside patients are categorised by the Department of Health as “Never Events”. This means that these events are so serious that they should never happen.
The most common “Never Events” from 2009 – 2012 were:
• 322 incidents of a foreign body being retained during an operation;
• 214 cases of surgery on the wrong body type;
• Misplaced feeding tube – 73 cases of tubes (feeding or medical) being inserted into patients lungs;
• 58 cases of wrong implants/prosthesis being fitted.
NHS England admitted that the figures were too high and said that it had introduced new measures to ensure patient safety.
They have started collating the data to educate staff on better practice. The World Health Organisation patient safety checklist has also been adapted for use in England and Wales.