Hospital chiefs in Sheffield have said sorry after NHS figures revealed objects have been left inside patients three times so far this year.
The blunders happened between April and September, and were included by NHS England in a list of hospital trusts’ very serious incidents, or ‘never events’ – regarded by the Government as so severe they should never happen.
One of the incidents involved a medical swab left inside a patient following a procedure. It has not been confirmed what the remaining two objects were.
Dr David Throssell, medical director at Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We treat over one million patients every year and our priority is always to provide safe, high quality care.
“We take never events extremely seriously and always undertake a full investigation into their causes. We are very sorry these events happened.
“We are continually examining our processes and checks to try to limit the chances of never events happening.”
Last year there were seven ‘never events’ at the trust in total, up on three in 2011-12 and two the previous year.
Meanwhile, at both Rotherham Hospital and at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, patients have had the wrong part of their body operated on or treated, the figures showed.
Nationally there were 148 very serious incidents from April to September.
Overall, there were 69 cases where foreign objects were left inside patients, including 11 cases of surgical swabs.
Other details from elsewhere in the country showed the wrong patient undergoing a heart procedure, and the incorrect person being given an invasive colonoscopy to check their bowel.
More than 20 were given the incorrect implant or prosthesis, and a woman had a fallopian tube removed instead of her appendix.
One patient had wires left inside them and another patient was left with a needle in their body. In one incident, a drill guide block was left inside a patient.