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Mystery object accidentally left inside surgery patient at Epsom and St Helier Hospital Trust
A foreign object was accidentally left inside a patient during a surgical procedure by the Epsom and St Helier Trust.
The trust would not reveal which hospital the serious event occurred in or what the object was; despite doing so when reporting “never events”, incidents so serious they should never happen, in the past.
However, it is understood this never event occurred under local anaesthetic in one of the maternity departments in May this year. The patient was informed and received an apology.
After an initial review a serious incident investigation was launched which identified a failure of staff to follow trust policy. Following this the chief executive, Matthew Hopkins, apologised to the patient for the failure.
A spokesperson for the Epsom and St Helier Trust said: “We are absolutely committed to providing our patients with a high level of compassionate care, and the health and wellbeing of the people we treat is at the heart of all we do.
“As such, any incident that may impact on the health or safety of our patients – however rare – is taken very seriously indeed.
“In May of this year, we reported one ‘never event’, when a foreign object was retained following a surgical procedure.
“It’s important to note that incidents such as these are rare. In the last financial year, we treated more than 800,000 patients and reported one ‘never event’.
"Whilst we recognise that this is a very small proportion of the total patients treated, we will not hesitate to act upon and learn from these incidents.
“As with any untoward incident, we launched a thorough internal investigation into this matter, and as a priority, actions and measures were put in place to help prevent a similar event occurring.”
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