It’s never ... again, at King’s Lynn hospital

QEH General Views of the outside of the hospital ANL-150525-110916009
QEH General Views of the outside of the hospital ANL-150525-110916009

Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital suffered six ‘never events’ in the year to March 2015, including two cases involving surgery on the wrong part of the body and two involving leaving foreign objects inside the patient’s body.

So-called never events are literally occurrences that ‘should never happen’.

The events recorded as happening at the QEH were as follows:

April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014: wrong site surgery (1); April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015: wrong site surgery (2), foreign object left in patient (2), maladministration of insulin (1), air embolism (1).

Provisional figures for April 1, 2015 to May 19, 2015, show one inappropriate administration of daily oral methotrexate, but the hospital says this was downgraded to a ‘serious incident’ following investigations.

Dr Beverly Watson, medical director at QEH, said: “We were disappointed to report a number of ‘never events’ in 2014/15.

“There have been significant improvements to increase both patient safety and the quality of care across the organisation.

“Patients and their families who did experience a ‘never event’ were kept regularly informed and updated during our investigations into how the incident occurred, and supported through their subsequent treatment.

“We continue to actively encourage staff to report any adverse incidents so that we can further improve our standards, and are very pleased to report that we have had no ‘never events’ to date in 2015/16.”

The figures were revealed by after analysis by the Press Association of data collated from NHS hospital trusts across England.

Altogether it revealed that there were some 1,188 ‘never’ events at hospitals in England over a four-year-period.

Colchester Hospital University NHS Trust had the highest number of events in the 2014-15 period with nine in total – five foreign objects retained, three wrong site surgeries and one wrong implant/prosthesis.