Personal Injury, Serious Injury & Clinical Negligence

Statistics show a steep rise in the number of “never events” occurring in the NHS

Across medical practice there are certain events which are so serious and avoidable that they simply should not happen at all. These are known as “never events” and they are defined by the Department of Heath as the following:

  1. undertaking surgery at the wrong site
  2. using the wrong implant/prosthesis
  3. retained foreign object post-operation
  4. wrongly prepared high-risk injectable medication
  5. maladministration of potassium-containing solutions
  6. wrong route administration of chemotherapy
  7. wrong route administration of oral/enteral treatment
  8. intravenous administration of epidural medication
  9. maladministration of Insulin
  10. overdose of midazolam during conscious sedation
  11. opioid overdose of an opioid-naive patient
  12. inappropriate administration of daily oral methotrexate
  13. suicide using non-collapsible rails
  14. escape of a transferred prisoner
  15. falls from unrestricted windows
  16. entrapment in bedrails
  17. transfusion of ABO-incompatible blood components
  18. transplantation of ABO-incompatible organs as a result of error
  19. misplaced naso- or oro-gastric tubes
  20. wrong gas administered
  21. failure to monitor and respond to oxygen saturation
  22. air embolism
  23. misidentification of patients
  24. severe scalding of patients
  25. maternal death due to post partum haemorrhage after elective Caesarean section.

Last year 299 such events occurred in NHS institutions. This is compared to 163 in 2011-12. Dr Mike Durkin, director of patient safety at NHS England, has confirmed that the NHS in England will now publish quarterly, detailed lists of “never events” broken down by hospital trusts.

Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, said: “These worrying figures reveal an NHS cutting too many corners and sailing dangerously close to the wind….Ministers have been repeatedly warned that too many hospitals in England do not have enough staff to provide care. Their failure to act has left wards understaffed and nurses overstretched.”

The medical negligence team at Clarke Willmott have a wealth of experience in dealing with clinical negligence claims following these types of “never events”. If you are concerned that you or someone you know may have suffered such an event, please contact one of the members of the clinical negligence team who would be happy to discuss the specific circumstances of your potential claim in greater detail.