A recent analysis by the Press Association has found more than 1,000 NHS patients in England in the past four years have suffered from serious and yet avoidable mistakes.
A case of a man who had a whole testicle removed instead of a troublesome cyst is just one example of the so-called ‘never events’ reported in the analysis.
Osborne Morris & Morgan, is calling for all cases of avoidable harm to be investigated, reviewed and a national plan to be implemented.
Gary Williams, from the firm, said: “The fact that so many of these ‘never events’ are still happening is clearly appalling, but it is important to realise that huge numbers of avoidable mistakes occur across the country every day.
“The effect of these mistakes can be devastating for the patient, their family and their friends, yet the NHS as a whole is not addressing the causes of these mistakes.”
“There are no national rules or guidance for how investigations into mistakes should be carried out. Individual hospitals investigate their own errors, and unsurprisingly they usually conclude that they were not responsible for these mistakes.
“However, when the Health Service Ombudsman recently reviewed 150 of these investigations, they concluded that the hospitals had failed to identify mistakes in 73% of cases.”
Other incidents of never events include patients receiving the wrong blood type during transfusions and others being given the wrong drugs.
The analysis showed there were:
254 never events from April 2015 to the end of December 2015
306 never events from April 2014 to March 2015
338 never events from April 2013 to March 2014
290 never events from April 2012 to March 2013
Patients who believe they have experienced a medical mistake are advised to seek advice from a professional legal team.