THIRTY patients a month suffer from “never event” medical blunders, NHS files reveal.
Victims have woken from surgery to find a wrong rib removed or they have had laser eye treatment intended for someone else.
Complaints were also lodged over drill bits found in patients on four occasions and guide-wire left in 18 times after ops.
One claim involved a patient trapped between a mattress and a bedrail.
Data published by the NHS shows 297 rare incidents — errors that should never happen if protocol is followed — in England in the ten months to January.
But The Sun on Sunday can also reveal £6.5million was spent on damages and legal costs in the year for 2019/20 over foreign objects left in place.
More than half that went on legal fees — £2.9million run up by complainants and £500,000 by the NHS.
Pay-outs for surgery performed on the wrong site, or another body part, saw £720,000 given to patients and £712,000 to their lawyers — with £86,000 going on NHS legal fees.
Some £24million has gone on compensation over the past five years for bungled ops.
Peter Walsh, of patients’ safety charity Action against Medical Accidents, said: “The NHS is spending millions of taxpayers’ money in compensating people for avoidable injuries.
“It needs to do more to ensure measures available to prevent these incidents are implemented — and it needs to be quicker to adopt new technology that can further improve patient safety.”
The NHS said: “These events are extremely rare and the NHS is undertaking a review as hospitals prioritise patient safety.”
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