A BBC Radio Kent investigation has revealed that, across Kent’s four acute Hospital Trusts, nearly 400 reports of Serious Untoward Incidents and Never Events were made recently over the course of a year.
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust reported 117 incidents including 2 Never Events (Wrong site surgery and wrong prosthesis). Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust reported 120 incidents with no Never Events. Medway NHS Foundation Trust reported 68 incidents with 4 Never Events. East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust reported 86 incidents with no Never Events.
Speaking on Radio Kent this morning, Nick pointed out that these figures need to be put in context, set alongside the fact that the NHS nationally treats over a million people a day. He stressed the importance of all NHS Trusts operating transparent open procedures so that errors come to light early, are admitted to, with apologies extended to patients and families and lessons learned. Only this way can changes be made so that mistakes do not recur in the system – this is overwhelmingly what our clients wish to see, Nick said.
He further argued that he believes that there is a consensus now, across the NHS, and Government, on the need for proper honest reporting and argued that this will actually bring down the cost of medical negligence claims, including legal costs.
He also discussed the 14 categories of ‘Never Incidents’ highlighted by the BBC investigation, which include things like operating at the wrong surgical site, using incorrect implants and leaving foreign bodies behind following surgery.
To listen to the radio piece please click below.