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We specialise in claiming compensation for Never Events on a no win, no fee basis. To find out if you could be entitled to compensation call our FREE legal helpline on 0800 975 8091 or email us at [email protected]

What is a Never Event?

Performing surgery on the wrong part of the body, leaving behind foreign objects following a procedure, giving a patient an overdose are all known as “Never Events”. These are events which, as the term suggests, should never happen. However, in our experience they occur far more frequently than they should.

According to NHS England, Never Events are “serious incidents that are entirely preventable”. They have the potential to cause serious harm or even the death of a patient.

There is an established system of national guidance and safety recommendations in place to prevent these events from occurring. However, as recently highlighted by The Telegraph, instances of Never Events have been increasing year-on-year, with 407 such events having been recorded by NHS England between April 2021 and March 2022.

Types of “Never Event”

NHS Improvement identifies a list of incidences which are considered to be a “Never Event“. The identified incidences are set out in four key sections:

  • Surgical: including wrong site surgery, wrong implant prosthesis and retained foreign objects, including needles, guide wires, swabs and surgical instruments.
  • Medication: including mis-selection of medication, administration of medication by the wrong route, overdose of insulin, overdose of methotrexate in non-cancerous patients, and mis-selection of high-strength midazolam during conscious sedation.
  • Mental Health: failure to install functional collapsible shower or curtain rails.
  • General: including falls from poorly restricted windows, entrapment in bed rails, transfusion of ABO incompatible blood payments, misplaced naso or oro-gastric tubes, scalding and the unintentional connection of the patient requiring oxygen to an air flow metre.

NHS requirements following a Never Event

Under the NHS England Never Event policy and framework, there are several requirements to be complied with following identification of a Never Event:

  • A full investigation under the serious incident framework;
  • Internal reporting on the Strategic Executive Information System (StEIS);
  • Analysis of the occurrence by organisational leaders including identifying and ensuring actions are taken to reduce the risk of recurrence; and
  • Identification of the Never Events in the commissioners annual report

Can I claim compensation for a Never Event?

You can claim compensation if you have been the victim of a Never Event where you have suffered injury as a result.

How we can help you

We are frequently contacted by patients who want to pursue a compensation claim for a Never Event that has left them injured. In the majority of these cases we are able to assist clients on a no win, no fee basis.

Getting in touch for an initial case assessment is the first step. We may need to review your medical records, along with any complaint correspondence or a ‘serious incident report’ if you have been provided one by the hospital. Even if the incident is not categorised as a “Never Event”, we may still be able to help you pursue a claim if you have suffered an injury, or at least point you in the right direction.

If your injury is of a personal nature, we have both male and female lawyers available should you wish to specify a preference and we can assure you of a professional and sympathetic approach.

Our track record of success

Below are some recent Never Event cases we have successfully settled for our clients:

  • Retained swab following a routine gynaecological procedure resulting in significant pain discomfort and infection and a further avoidable procedure.
  • Retained urinary stenting causing incontinence, pain and discomfort and recurrent urinary tract infections and a further avoidable procedure.
  • Swallowed dental drill pieces during routine dental procedures causing abdominal pain and discomfort and, in a separate case injury to the bowel exacerbating a pre-existing condition.
  • Retained broken needle during surgery resulting in pain and discomfort.
  • Bedrail entrapment resulting in a fractured leg of an elderly patient.

So, if you think you have a potential claim then simply call our FREE legal helpline on 0800 975 8091 or send brief details of your case to us at [email protected]

Never Events