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Never Event Claim


The NHS has an enviable reputation for providing good quality care to its patients, so if you require treatment, in most cases things should go according to plan.

However, in rare occasions, this doesn’t happen. Sometimes accidents or errors occur in the NHS that simply shouldn’t happen, and could have been completely avoided or prevented if the appropriate health and safety procedures were followed. These are called Never Events.


Never Events explained

Never Events are often serious and can cause patients a lot of suffering and pain. In some cases, they can result in injury and death. They can occur in any NHS trust, and within any sector, including NHS-funded private care.


Types of Never Events

There are a wide variety of different situations and scenarios that can constitute as a Never Event.


Surgical errors

Errors that occur in surgery can include having the wrong limb or organ removed, or an implant or device placed in the wrong part of the body.

Retainment of foreign objects

This is when instruments, swabs, needles and other items used during surgery are not removed from the body following the procedure.

Medical administration errors

If the wrong dosage of medicine is given, not applied to the correct area, or not administered using the required utensils, methods or route, this can constitute a Never Event.

Blood transfusion incompatibility

Healthcare professionals are required to perform compatibility testing before performing blood transfusions on patients, to make sure blood types match. If this doesn’t occur, or any errors are made during testing, this can cause a severe reaction in patients that could even be life-threatening.

Misplacement of tubes

Where tubes are not placed in the correct part of the body, such as naso-gastric tubes, this can hinder the patient’s ability to absorb medication, fluids and nutrition, potentially having serious consequences.


If a patient is scalded when being washed through negligent care, this means that health and safety procedures were not correctly followed, and can constitute as a Never Event.

Risk assessment issues

Healthcare providers are required to carry out risk assessments to make sure that the safety of their patients is prioritised at all times. When risk assessments are not carried out effectively, this can result in accidents and injuries occurring, and potentially even death. This can include incidents such as patients suffering from falls that could have been prevented, entrapment in bed rails or failure to prevent vulnerable mental health patients from committing suicide.


Help when you need it, each Never Event case is different

You may become aware that a Never Event has taken place immediately, or you may be informed by a healthcare provider following a procedure, either in person or by letter. In some cases, you may simply suspect that a Never Event may have occurred, in which case, further investigation may be needed.

Whatever your unique circumstances, a Never Event shouldn’t have happened, and so you might be able to pursue compensation by making a Never Event claim against the healthcare provider for negligence.

Because you might still be recovering from a medical procedure, or still suffering the impact of the Never Event, having legal experts to assist you will take the strain off the process of making a claim, while ensuring that you get help from professionals with a proven track record in this field.

Farleys has dealt with many Never Event claims over the years, so if you need assistance from our legal experts in this area, get in touch today at 0330 828 4028

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