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Mistakes at north east hospitals revealed

27th July 2010

Information obtained following a Freedom of Information Act request by the BBC has revealed serious mistakes at hospitals across the north east of England.

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The Serious Untoward Incident (SUI) reports showed that the wrong body was taken to the undertaker, a patient's finger was mistakenly operated on and an emergency CT scan was delayed because of "reluctance to call out on-call CT staff".

A video of a hospital ward was also placed on YouTube, compromising patients' right to privacy.

280 SUI reports were submitted to the North East Strategic Health Authority by hospitals in 2009.

One of them showed that the wrong corpse was sent to an undertaker from a hospital mortuary.

The trust said: "This was a very unfortunate and upsetting incident for everyone concerned. The mistake was noticed within an hour and dealt with immediately."

In August 2009, a SUI report showed that following an operation on a child, a swab was left in the child's body.

In a statement, the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said it considered patient safety very important.

The trust added: "A serious untoward incident does not necessarily indicate a clinical error, but alerts us to an unexpected event that warrants thorough investigation."

In another incident, there was a two-hour delay in ordering an emergency CT scan. The City Hospitals Sunderland Trust said: "Safeguards have now been put in place to ensure that these unexpected events do not recur."

 

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