It’s always distressing when you suffer an accident or injury through the course of a medical procedure. We trust that doctors, nurses and surgeons will do their best to treat us and, of course, in most cases they do. That said, sometimes things do go wrong and, when it comes to medical negligence, there is a special category called Never Events.
Most people will have never of heard of Never Events, so you may be wondering what they are. They are basically medical mistakes that would never happen if procedures are correctly followed.
What Are Never Events?
The NHS defines Never Events as ‘serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented.’
They publish a list of NHS Never Events periodically, which includes:
Wrong site surgery
This is when a surgical procedure is carried out in the wrong place. It could be the wrong knee, the wrong arm, or even the wrong patient. It can be detected any time after the start of the operation and may mean the patient having to undergo additional surgery in the correct place.
Retained instrument post–operative
This is when instruments or swabs that should have been removed are left in a patient after an operation. The patient can suffer complications and might need more invasive surgery to remove what has been left.
Wrong route administration of chemotherapy
This is exactly what it says, chemotherapy administered through the wrong route.
This is where the wrong knee implant is used, or the wrong lens in the eyes, for example. This can cause discomfort for the patient and mean they have to have the procedure repeated.
There are several more items on the list that is overseen and any changes made by a body known as NHS Improvement. They publish data on Never Events, the numbers of which appear to be reducing. There were 442 reported in 2015/2016 and 380 in 2016/2017.
More safety guidelines are being established regularly, and more procedures added to the NHS list of Never Events. Different areas are being added, and as mistakes are made, they are investigated to see if they need to be part of this group of incidents that medical negligence claims can be made for.
Making Medical Negligence Claims UK for Never Events
Never Events would not happen if the guidelines and procedures laid down by the NHS were followed at all times. The scalding of patients, falls from poorly restricted windows, and chest or neck entrapment in bed rails are all preventable. These are incidents that should not have taken place, and the patients concerned should not have been injured through no fault of their own. Their suffering from any injuries sustained can be worse than the original reason for having treatment.
If you have been the victim of a Never Event, you may be looking for the best medical negligence solicitors to help you with your compensation claim. They will need to understand the rules for making a Never Event claim for medical malpractice, as they are as complicated as the process of claiming. Firms such as The Medical Negligence Experts deal with these types of medical negligence claims on a no win no fee basis, and are often able to help you to claim any compensation you are due. The Medical Negligence Experts also offer a free advice line for potential customers who want to find out if their claim is worth pursuing.
Not All Never Events Cause An Injury
Not all Never Events will result in an injury, and with no injury, there is no medical negligence claim to make. The NHS complaints procedure will listen to the problem, and try to make sure that any issues are corrected, as the next patient might not be as fortunate as you. Medical negligence solicitors will try to establish who was at fault, as knowing this is an important part of any claim and this information will be needed to move forward. It could be the fault of the surgeon that operated or the nurses that should have been more vigilant. It could be the anaesthetist that made a mistake, but whoever it is, they need to be employed by the NHS for a claim to be made for an NHS Never Event.
As soon as you are aware that the Never Event is causing you a problem, you should get in touch with medical negligence lawyers, as there is a three-year time limit on making your claim for medical negligence UK. This is only different if the injured party is mentally incapacitated or a child at the time of the incident. In the case of a child, they have three years from their 18th birthday to start legal proceedings, as long as no one made a claim on their behalf at the time.
Medical negligence claims can be complex, confusing, and time-consuming, which is why you want experts on your side. They will know how to deal with the NHS, and how to best present your claim to give it the best chance of success.
From the NHS point of view, they are hoping that by publishing guidelines on how to prevent Never Events, the numbers will continue to decline. The hope is that each year when they show their data, although the list is getting longer, the number of patients injured will be lower.