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'Never Events' continue to raise concerns at North Middlesex Hospital

Healthcare lawyer calls for investigation after reports of continued 'never events' at North Middlesex Hospital

14 September 2018

A leading healthcare lawyer has joined calls for the Government to launch an urgent investigation following claims that failings at North Middlesex Hospital led to a string of ‘never events’ including the death of three babies, a cancer patient being starved of oxygen and a child suffering brain damage.

Suzanne White, the head of clinical negligence at law firm Leigh Day said that the details of the incidents needed proper scrutiny to ensure such incidents were eradicated from the health service and not ‘swept under the carpet’.

Six so-called ‘never events’ were reported by the Sunday Mirror newspaper who have campaigned for improved services at the hospital since 2016. The latest incidents were revealed in the hospital’s board papers.

According to the newspaper, bosses at the hospital back-tracked on a decision to withhold details from the public. According to the Sunday Mirror the number of serious ­incidents at the North London hospital rose from 81 between 2016 and 2017 to 88 in the 12 months up to April 2018.

The newspaper detailed the more serious incidents including a girl of four being left brain-damaged allegedly after being sent home without waiting for test results.

Another incident detailed in the Sunday Mirror included a cancer patient whose heart stopped after being accidentally hooked up to an airflow meter rather than an oxygen supply.

Suzanne White, partner and head of clinical negligence at Leigh Day said: “This is extremely troubling as the Sunday Mirror has long highlighted failings at North Middlesex Hospital, yet these incidents keep occurring.

“It therefore seems clear that more must be done to eradicate ‘never events’ from the healthcare we all rely upon. They must never be swept under the carpet.”

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “These are alarming revelations. Patients and families deserve better and I’m writing to the Secretary of State asking him to look into these issues urgently.”

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