Needle left inside surgery patient

Hospital operationInspectors have moved the hospital to a lower level of risk after criticism earlier this year

A Devon hospital is investigating how a surgical needle came to be left inside a patient.

In another incident at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, a naso-gastric tube, used for feeding and administering drugs, was “misplaced”.

The hospital said no patients were harmed as a result of the incidents, which happened earlier this month.

They were listed in a board agenda of the Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

The trust declined to give any more detail about the “retained needle incident” because its investigations were still continuing.

Philip Hughes, the trust’s medical director, said: “We are always concerned about serious events.

“Safety is at the heart of what we do. The number of incidents is decreasing and the frequency of harm to patients is decreasing.”

The hospital was criticised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in June after an investigation into eight serious incidents over the previous year – described as “never events” because they should never have happened.

The trust said the two incidents this month were not serious enough to be classified as never events.

Last month the CQC moved the hospital from band four to band five on its risk list, band one representing the highest risk and band six the lowest.


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