Serious Errors Highlighted In North-West Hospitals

Freedom Of Information Request Unearths Serious Medical Errors


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A number of serious medical errors made by staff in Morecambe hospitals in the past three years have been brought to the public's attention.

Having issued a Freedom of Information request, the North-West Evening Mail discovered that nine major mistakes had been recorded by University
Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust between 2011 and 2013.

The trust did not confirm exactly which hospitals the cases related to, but did provide details of various incidents.

One involved a patient who died just days after a feeding tube was wrongly placed in their lung.

The trust told the news provider: "The patient had an NG tube in situ and had been fed through this tube and feeds had been running for four hours in total. The patient experienced right-sided chest pain and an urgent chest x-ray showed the NG tube in the right lung. The patient died two days later."

A previous study revealed that 150 patients across the UK had been harmed in so-called "never events" between April and September 2013.

In January 2014, a similar incident was reported by the Haringey Independent, in which 84-year-old grandmother Andriana Georgiou died after a feeding tube was incorrectly placed in one of her lungs.

An inquest decided that this mistake had contributed towards her death, along with natural causes.

Meanwhile, some of the other errors reported by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust in the past three years included a wire being left in a patient's ureter following kidney surgery, two incidents of swabs being left inside mothers after childbirth and an operation being carried out on the wrong patient.

George Nasmyth - the trust's medical director - told the news provider that the organisation takes these incidents "extremely seriously" and such cases are investigated fully to ensure the same mistakes are not made again.

He said patient safety is a priority and members of staff are "actively encouraged" to report any concerns they may have.

Expert Opinion
This freedom of information act request highlights that nine NHS ‘never events’ have taken place across Morecambe hospitals over a two year period. Never Events are just that, they simply should not happen. they are very serious and can often have a severe long term impact on the health of the patient in question.

“The NHS has highlighted the list of never events, but the fact that so many are still occurring shows that more work needs to be done to stop them from happening again once and for all.

“Any information gathered during the investigation of never events needs to be shared amongst the whole of the NHS so that all trusts can learn lessons to improve patient safety."
Lisa Jordan, Partner