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Mitigating the risk of a ‘Never Event’

George Gallagher discusses why Never Events keep happening, why they matter and what we can all do about them to improve outcomes

Never Events are defined as ‘Serious Incidents that are wholly preventable because guidance or safety recommendations that provide strong systemic protective barriers are available at a national level and should have been implemented by all healthcare providers’.1 Despite their name, Never Events do happen and are surprisingly common. There were 314 serious incidents that met the definition of a Never Event between 1 April 2021 and 31 December 20212– that is more than one ‘entirely preventable’ event a day

Most obviously, they present a significant risk to patient safety and can lead to harm and even death, but there are a whole host of other consequences that impact patients and providers indirectly – including clinical negligence claims, delays in subsequent treatments, increased costs, and the effect on staff morale. 

Furthermore, the Never Events policy and framework – revised in January 2018, suggests Never Events may highlight potential weaknesses in how an organisation manages fundamental safety processes3 – in other words, they are often a symptom of a much larger issue. 

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Upcoming Events

IP2022 IS COMING TO BOURNEMOUTH IN OCTOBER 2022

Bournemouth
17-19 October 2022

UKHCA Conference: Listen Up

Pendulum Hotel and Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester
3rd November 2022

MEDICA 2022

Dusseldorf Germany
14th November - 17th November

Future Surgery 2022

ExCel, London
15th - 16th November 2022

IDSc Annual Conference

The Eastside Rooms, Birmingham
29th - 30th November 2022

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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