A patient in Croydon was given an anaesthetic block in the wrong place which was reported as a serious ‘never event’.

Never events are serious and preventable safety incidents that should not have occurred.

There was just one that was recorded by Croydon Health Services NHS

Trust between April 1 and July 31 this year.

In this case, no serious harm was caused to the patient.

The trust which runs Croydon University Hospital said that a thorough investigation has since been carried out and staff have been given additional training.

An anaesthetic block being administered on the wrong site was one of the more common blunders made in the four months, with 22 of these incidents reported across the country.

Overalll in the four months there were 125 never events across the country.

A spokesperson for the trust said: “Every year we care for over half a million patients. Although incidents like this are thankfully extremely rare, we take them very seriously and complete a thorough investigation to minimise future risks.

“While we cannot comment on individual cases in detail, no serious harm was caused to this patient and we worked closely with them to ensure they were reassured by the investigation process, and the subsequent training developed in order to help our teams continually improve.”

The incident in Croydon was one of the less severe never events, other examples include surgery on the wrong site and foreign objects left inside patients after surgery.

NHS England states that never events may highlight weaknesses in how hospitals manage safety processes.

In the latest report, the national body states: “Never events are different from other serious incidents as the overriding principle of having the never events list is that even a single never event acts as a red flag that an organisation’s systems for implementing existing safety advice/alerts may not be robust.”

In July 2018, the trust was rated ‘Requires Improvement’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

After this Croydon University Hospital itself was rated ‘Requires Improvement’ for safety and effectiveness and for being well-led. It was rated ‘Good’ for caring and for its responsiveness.

Beds at the Trust’s hospitals were occupied at a level of 99.34% in the year 2018-19.

The recommended safe level of bed occupancy is 85%.