After carrying out an inspection in December 2020, the Care Quality Commission have issued a warning notice to the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust that they need to make significant improvements to the quality of healthcare it provides, as well as giving an explanation to the Commission on how they will achieve it.

This warning follows a series of Seven incidents called ‘Never Events’ which have been suffered by patients receiving treatment at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, St Michael’s Hospital in Hayle and West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance, in the last year.  

Details of these incidents include a patient who had a 39cm length of guide wire left inside him following a heart operation and a retained swab following a patient’s breast surgery.

The Trust had previously been put under special measures and was rated ‘inadequate’ overall by the Care Quality Commission in October 2017, due to concerns relating to patient safety, the organisational culture and governance. This rating had been upgraded to ‘good’ in December 2019 but these never events have raised further concerns.

What are ‘Never Event’ Claims?

Never events are serious patient safety incidents which are entirely preventable and should never happen if national guidance and safety recommendations are followed. 

Never events have the potential to cause a substantial level of harm which can have fatal consequences for a patient.

If you have fallen victim to a never event, you may be able to seek compensation for any additional pain and suffering incurred as a result. Never events often mean a longer recovery time for the patient which can have long lasting consequences.

Types of Never Event Claims

What constitutes a ‘Never Event’ is defined by the NHS but can include the following incidents:

If, during your care, a never event has occurred, then health professionals have a duty to report these incidents. You should be notified and the incident should be investigated by your care provider. 

Never events can occur in any NHS Funded care and includes private healthcare settings if the treatment has been funded by the NHS.

We continue to act on behalf of clients from Devon and Cornwall in obtaining compensation for Never Event claims. We are here to answer any queries you may have. Speak to James or Kirrin now on 01271 533577 or submit an online form and one of us will be in touch.