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Bosses refuse to reveal details of a 'never event' at Burnley Hospital
HOSPITAL bosses have refused to reveal details about a ‘never event’ within the Women and Newborn Centre for East Lancashire – an incident so serious that it should never happen within the NHS.
Never events are classed as serious, preventable patient safety incidents, such as surgery on the wrong part of the body, or a misplaced feeding tube going undetected prior to being used.
They frequently result in a compensation claim from the patient or their family.
The incident, which happened on July 28 in the obstetrics and gynaecology division at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, is currently being reviewed by external investigators.
It comes as another major solicitors’ firm, Irwin Mitchell, said it is investigating 49 medical negligence claims against the trust.
This takes the number of cases currently being probed by legal firms to at least 120.
Last week the Lancashire Telegraph learned of 71 cases being probed by five separate legal firms.
Many of the cases have been opened since February, when the NHS announced a major investigation into standards at the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General Hospitals, which were placed in special measures last month.
The Women and Newborn Centre is based at Burnley General and houses the main maternity ward for East Lancashire.
The Lancashire Telegraph requested a report of the incident with all personal details removed, but bosses refused.
They claimed even a brief description of what happened ‘could be seen to be sharing confidential information’.
Simon Hill, divisional director for family care and consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology, said: “We offered our sincere apologies to the patient and fully explained how the incident occurred.
“As a trust, we take all incidents very seriously and, as part of the normal management of incidents, an initial investigation was instigated and immediate actions taken, followed by a full investigation which is still on-going.
“The occurrence of a never event is very rare and, therefore, to fully understand the circumstances surrounding this incident and to ensure that all preventative actions required are identified and managed, we have commissioned an independent, external review.”
More than 750 never events occured across the NHS from 2009 - 2012, with just one reported in East Lancashire.
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