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Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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Hospital surgeons operate on 'wrong man' after mix-up at Barrow hospital

SURGEONS operated on the wrong man after his medical records were “mixed up” at Furness General Hospital with those of another patient who shared his surname.

Furness General Hospital

But no-one at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs FGH, will face any disciplinary action as a result of the mistake.

A freedom of information request by the Evening Mail revealed the “never event” – a category of incidents considered so serious by the NHS that they should never happen, occurred after two patients with the same surnames were referred to orthopaedic consultants at FGH.

The patient received surgery at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal last year for decompression of carpal tunnel, a condition that causes pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers, based on a report in his medical notes.

Afterwards, the patient was referred to a neurologist after continuing to experience symptoms. After examining the man, the neurologist realised the report referred to another patient.

George Nasmyth, medical director at the trust, said: “As their name suggests, ‘never events’ should never happen, so it is a real concern when they do – and the trust takes them extremely seriously.”

Although no staff member was disciplined, the trust said several received retraining.

Secretaries received training in integrating results from studies into the patient administration system and consultants and associate specialists received training in patient identification procedures.

Nurses also received training in the “Duty Of Candour”, recommended in The Francis Report calling for a statutory duty of openness and transparency to be imposed upon healthcare providers.

Mr Nasmyth said: “Within this culture, we can make sure staff feel safe and comfortable to report any incidents, ‘near-misses’ or concerns, discuss them openly and honestly with support from the Care Quality Commission where necessary, and ensure everyone in the trust and the wider NHS understands what went wrong and how we can do more to prevent it happening again.”

The trust said no legal action had been brought as a result of the incident.

Have your say

Surely Jonathan humphries needs to have his reports qa'd prior to th being published as contains a number of errors, mainly the mix up between FGH and WGH.
Good work evening mail. As always!
Must be low of articles this week....

Posted by Useless on 29 May 2014 at 07:01

It is really a bit strong blaming FGH for thie mix-up in this case. The patient should have realised the medical information was incorrect, as should Westmoreland Hospital. I have been an in-patient in both hospitals, and the checks are so rigorous, even down to the Operating Theatre checks as they wheel you in. So no blame on FGH here. Patient and Westmoreland blame only.

Posted by David Allen on 28 May 2014 at 14:56

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