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Negligent 'Never Events' Continue to Happen in the NHS

The Government has published new data showing the number of NHS "never events" reported over the last two years, with the vast majority of them being surgical. Seventy people had surgery on the wrong part of their body while 161 foreign objects were left inside patients after an operation.

The data which has been released covers 2011/12 and shows that there were 326 ‘never events’, which are described as serious patient safety incidents that by definition should never happen and that there can be no excuse for.

The most common complaints reported to strategic health authorities included 161 patients retaining foreign objects post-operation, 70 people having surgery on the wrong part of the body, 41 incidents involving the wrong implant or prosthesis and 23 incidents of misplaced nasogastric tubes.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is reported as saying that transparency saves lives and improves care.

"The NHS treats a million people every 36 hours, and we know that the vast majority of these patients have excellent care. But the NHS needs to do more to really tackle these events", Mr Hunt said.

Lanyon Bowdler has a dedicated team of experts including solicitors, nurses and an in house doctor who can assist in all aspects of clinical negligence.