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NHS England to publish trust-by-trust 'never events' list

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NHS England is to publish quarterly lists of all the “never events” – the worst preventable mistakes – recorded in the NHS, broken down by trust.

It will produce its first online list recording the number and type of incidents at each trust this October. It has collected the data from trusts since the start of 2013-14 financial year, in April.

The Department of Health has defined 25 types of never event, including surgery on the wrong area, misplaced nasogastric tubes and “maladministration of insulin”.

The BBC has previously reported that between 2009 and 2012 there had been 762 never events across the NHS, including 214 categorised as “wrong site surgery” and 322 as “retained foreign object post operation”.

Mike Durkin, NHS England’s director of patient safety, said the idea was to offer more detail on top of existing annual data that records the number of never events in different types of care setting.

“NHS England intends to begin publishing more detailed data on never events on a more regular basis very soon, providing more frequent information on the numbers and kinds of never events that occur in the NHS as part of its wider commitment to transparency, but also to stimulate more learning and preventative action,” he said.

“We need to openly and publicly report and address safety problems, not so that people can lay blame inappropriately, but so that we can fully understand and therefore learn more from the safety problems that the NHS, like all healthcare systems, faces,” he added.

NHS England revealed the move in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Nursing Times’ sister title Health Service Journal.

Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.

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Readers' comments (5)

  • Why should it take a FoI to get this information into the public domain?

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  • As long as the answer isn't increased staff of course.

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  • are they also going to publish staffing levels, competency levels, skill mix and what training was/will be in place.
    will it just be a 'list'?

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  • As long as the answer isn't increased staff of course.

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  • As long as the answer isn't increased staff of course.

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