Unacceptable level of surgical error in Devon hospitals
Surgical errors do unfortunately occur and serious incidents have been reported at Devon’s four main hospital trusts. In one year so-called “never events” included three surgical errors at Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital; one surgical error involving a foreign object being left in a patient, one where surgery was carried out on the wrong part of the body, and one where the wrong dose of insulin was administered.
The Royal Devon and Exeter, North Devon Healthcare and South Devon Healthcare trusts each reported two “never events” in the same year; a surgical error involving the wrong part of the body, and misplaced surgical equipment.
“Never events” are defined by the Care Quality Commission as serious, largely preventable incidents which should not happen. Although surgical errors like this are rare, they are serious enough that each requires an separate investigation.
Derriford Hospital in Plymouth has previously been warned by the CQC that it must improve safety or risk prosecution after six “never events” within one year, including swabs being left in four patients. Derriford Hospital is part of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which carries out more than 40,000 operations a year. The Trust said it had investigated the medical mistakes and had put in safeguards to prevent accidents happening in the future.
Our team of specialist medical negligence lawyers are highly experienced in dealing with claims against hospitals, including negligence claims for injury caused by a surgical error. Compensation can be claimed when an avoidable surgical error occurs and injured patients can recover financial losses, such as lost earnings, as well as compensation for their ‘pain and suffering’.