Personal Injury, Serious Injury & Clinical Negligence

“Never events” continue in South West

Derriford Hospital has become another in the list of hospital in the South West to suffer “Never Events”. A “Never Event” is a situation where a patient is harmed in some way by a mistake that is considered wholly unacceptable by the medical profession, and can include errors such as operating on the wrong leg or leaving an item of surgical equipment inside a patient.

Last year, figures revealed the worst performing hospitals in terms of the number of “Never Events, and whilst not on the list, Derriford Hospital had already reported 3 cases by the middle of the year. A report released in January this year explains that one more event was recorded at Derriford involving equipment inserted into the wrong side of a patient, bringing its 2015 total to 4 “Never Events”. Whilst all of these events are considered unacceptable and cause avoidable harm to patients, Derriford is far from the worst performing hospital in this regard.

Phil Hughes, who is the Medical Director for the NHS Trust responsible for the hospital, has said

We see and treat nearly half-a-million patients per year and for hundreds of thousands of people their investigations and treatment go well and they report being highly satisfied with their care … But, for a small minority, mistakes happen and things do not go as planned. When mistakes happen it is essential that we are open and honest about them and, importantly, that we use then as learning opportunities”

If you have been harmed by an error in surgery or medical care and wish to discuss how we may be able to help, contact our specialist clinical negligence team on 0800 316 8892.