10 November 2011
It’s shocking that one of our largest major hospitals - and one which is seen as offering first class and even pioneering treatment in many fields - can make such catastrophic blunders as have been revealed in a new report.
Guy’s &?St Thomas’ were found to have operated on the wrong body parts of patients, or even the wrong people, as well as to have left ‘one or more’ medical instruments or swabs inside a patient - necessitating further surgery.
These are the kind of blunders of which nightmares are made - and there have been three such incidents in the past six months alone.
Of course the hospital trust is not alone in facing this problem - there were 111 ‘never events’ across the country in a year between 2009 and 2010. And of course, in busy hospitals, mistakes are bound to happen. What’s more, the vast majority of the work carried out by the hospital trust is of a high standard.
Even so, such shocking errors are simply inexcusable and the trust must address the situation urgently - indeed it told us it had already carried out investigations and introduced new measures to that effect.
As for the terminology used - ‘never events’ and ‘wrong site surgery’ - you could be forgiven for thinking those responsible were in denial about the seriousness of leaving instruments in a patient’s body, or operating on the wrong eye, for example.
The phrases - Orwellian was one comment made this week - seem like a blatent attempt to avoid actually stating the facts about the blunders, opting instead for bland, meaningless jargon.
Why not call them exactly what they are, or is it simply to shocking to admit to?
Agree or disagree?
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