Whipps Cross ‘never events’

Whipps Cross Hospital
Whipps Cross University Hospital

Report by Victoria Munro, Local Democracy Reporter

There were four ‘never events’ at Whipps Cross University Hospital in eight months, provisional NHS data reveals.

Never events are “serious patient safety incidents” with “potential to cause serious patient harm or death” and can include surgery on the wrong limb or objects left in a patient’s body. 

Barts Health NHS Trust, made up of five hospitals, had eight never events in this period, the highest number of any NHS trust.

The four never events at Whipps Cross included two incidents in which the wrong site was operated on, one misplaced gastric tube and a patient who was mistakenly given a high strength sedative.  

A spokesperson from Barts Health NHS Trust said: “There were four instances of never events at Whipps Cross Hospital between April 1 and November 30, 2019. Patient safety is our highest priority and we take this extremely seriously.

“The trust ensures that whenever such an event occurs a detailed investigation is carried out and that learning takes place.”

A CQC report on the hospital’s maternity service, following an inspection in October last year, noted that in August 2018 there were two never events within 24 hours.

The report notes that both events in this instance involved a foreign object being left inside a patient.