The NHS define a Never Event as “serious incidents that are entirely preventable because guidance or safety recommendations providing strong systemic protective barriers are available at a national level, and should have been implemented by all healthcare providers” (

In 2017/2018, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust recorded 6 Never Events across three hospitals including an operation performed on the wrong finger, a gall bladder bag being found inside a patient following surgery and a needle being left inside a woman following the birth of her child. It has also been reported that a patient received the wrong blood type in a blood transfusion.

A spokesman for the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has said that these events were “six too many, but should be seen in the context of over 720,000 patient contacts over the same period”. (

Following consultations with stakeholders, the NHS Never Events policy and framework was revised in 2016. This included the removal of the option for commissioners to impose financial sanctions when Trusts report Never Events, in a bid to eliminate a potential blame culture.

The NHS have reported that between 1 and 30 April 2018, a total of 26 Never Events have occurred across the UK including, but not limited to, wrong implants or prosthesis’ being inserted into patients and wrong teeth being removed. (

Our specialist Clinical Negligence team has years of experience in dealing with the effects of negligent surgery and treatment. If you think that you, or a loved one may have been affected by negligent medical practice, or, have suffered a Never Event, please contact someone in our national team:-

Siobhan Genever, Director (Nottingham) on 0845 271 6793 or

Carolyn Lowe, Partner (Oxford/Milton Keynes) on 0186 578 1019 or

Karen Reynolds, Partner (Derby/Stoke) on 0845 272 5677 or

Jane Williams, Partner (Leicester) on 0845 272 5724 or

For further information please also visit our website at: