Epsom and St Helier Hospitals recorded five ‘never’ events in the last four years - incidents so serious they should never happen.

Between 2009 and 2012, a foreign object was left inside a patient post operation on four occasions, while on another occasion staff misplaced a ‘naso’ or gastric tube.

In the most serious of ‘never events’ patients have been operated on the wrong part of the body.

A spokesperson for Epsom and St Helier was unable to divulge specific details of items left inside of patients because it could break patient confidentiality.

A spokesperson for the trust said: "Our busy hospitals have a record of providing our patients with a high level of care, and meeting the vast majority of the standards that the Government expect of us.

"As such, any incident that may impact on the health, safety and well being of our patients – however rare – is taken very seriously indeed.

"In the past three years, we have treated approximately 2.4 million patients and have reported five ‘never events’.

"Whilst we recognise that this is a very small proportion of the total patients treated, we will not hesitate to act upon and learn from these incidents.

"Any untoward incident is subject to a thorough internal investigation at the Trust, and as a priority, actions and measures are put in place to help prevent a similar event occurring."


In comparison:-

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust recorded eight incidents.  

Kingston Hospital NHS Trust recorded four incidents. 

St George's NHS Trust recorded eight incidents.