What are 'Never Events'?
The NHS defines Never Events as ‘serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if healthcare providers have implemented existing national guidance or safety recommendations’.
Never Events are essentially medical mistakes that should not have happened in the first place; some of the most common are doctors operating on wrong body parts, surgical implements left behind in patients post-operatively and other clinical negligence mistakes. Our team of specialised medical negligence solicitors can help with any compensation claims you may have if you have been the victim on never events.
NHS Improvement has produced guidance for providers of NHS care to tailor their policies and procedures to minimise the risk of Never Events occurring, extending the potential for improvements to patient safety beyond the department or type of procedure involved.
The latest Never Events List produced by NHS Improvement includes the following:
- Wrong site surgery
- Wrong implant/prosthesis
- Retained foreign object post procedure
- Mis-selection of a strong potassium solution
- Administration of medication by the wrong route
- Overdose of insulin due to abbreviations or incorrect device
- Overdose of methotrexate for non-cancer treatment
- Mis-selection of high strength midazolam during conscious sedation
- Failure to install functional collapsible shower or curtain rails
- Falls from poorly restricted windows
- Chest or neck entrapment in bed rails
- Transfusion or transplantation of ABO-incompatible blood components or organs
- Misplaced naso- or oro-gastric tubes
- Scalding of patients
- Unintentional connection of a patient requiring oxygen to an air flowmeter
NHS Improvement monitors all Serious Incidents reported on the StEIS System which were designated by their reporters as Never Events. A total of 407 ‘never events’ have been reported in the past year in hospitals across the country and listed in the report by NHS England.
It is accepted that a single Never Event acts as a red flag, that an organisation’s systems for implementing existing safety advice/alerts may not be robust, sometimes pointing to systemic failures which may, in extreme cases, merit a claim under the Human Rights Act 1998.
From a medical negligence claim viewpoint Never Events are usually indefensible and victims should seek advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitor on whether they are entitled to compensation in relation to the treatment that they have received.
If you feel that you have a claim and would like advice please complete the contact form and a Medical Negligence Solicitor will call you back for a free no-obligation consultation. Alternatively, call us on 0161 785 3500.