fbpx Skip to main content
CALL US: 01482 323 697
Williamsons News

2019 Never Events from the NHS – “What is a Never Event?”

16 September 2019

Blog, Clinical Negligence

What is a ‘Never Event’?

“Never Events are defined as Serious Incidents that are wholly preventable because guidance or safety recommendations that provide strong systemic protective barriers are available at a national level and should have been implemented by all healthcare providers”. (Source: NHS)

Clinical Negligence - FAQMore than 600 patients have suffered due to serious NHS errors, including surgeons operating on the wrong patient and botched hysterectomies.

A total of 629 “never events” – meaning they are so serious they should never happen – occurred between April 2018 and July 2019 in NHS hospitals – the equivalent of nine patients every week.

The mistakes include doctors operating on the wrong body parts and leaving surgical tools such as gloves and drill bits inside patients.

We act for Mr X where, It was a surprise for Mr X, when he was told by Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust that an operation had been performed at the wrong level of his spine.  A Never Event (so called because these types of errors should never occur) investigation demonstrated that the decompression surgery was meant to take place at the L4/5 level, but this was wrongly carried out at the L3/4 level.  However, the internal investigation failed to identify or explain the damage caused by such an error.  As a result, Mr X assumed that his back pain and significant mobility problems would have occurred in any event.

Williamsons Solicitors - Clinical NegligenceWhen Williamsons Solicitors started to investigate a clinical negligence claim for Mr X, we noticed an unreasonable delay identifying a spinal infection and commencing the urgent treatment necessary for this.  The consequences of this further error were much more significant for Mr X because it caused all his mobility problems, along with his ongoing bowel and bladder dysfunction.  The Never Event investigation failed to consider such additional sub-standard care at all.  This is a good example which demonstrates the narrow focus of NHS internal investigations in situations where patient care falls below recognised levels.

In relation to Mr X, we’ve now obtained an admission of liability from Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.  With appropriate care, we argue that he would have regained Frenkel E function i.e. full motor function and only minor sensory impairment.  An early 6 figure settlement offer from the Defendant has been rejected & we are obtaining all the further evidence necessary to demonstrate the true value of his claim.  In the meantime, Mr X has the benefit of a sizeable interim payment to help improve his quality of life.

After helping Mr X find out everything that went wrong with his treatment, Nick Gray, Solicitor is disappointed that so much was missed during the NHS internal investigation.  If you think Nick might be able to help you, just get in touch with him to see.

If you have experienced a ‘Never Event’ then please contact one of our specialist medical negligence team on 01482 323697.

A story from Sky News has revealed the 2019 statistics.

NHS in Numbers has been helpfully outlined here.

Contact Us Back to top
Read some reviews from our clients

4.89 Average

204 Reviews

Mr & M

Wet happy with the comprehensive and personal service Thank you

Mr and Mrs Betts

Excellent client service- professional and courteous. Thank you to Madeleine.


I chose Williamsons to act as my conveyancers and I have been super impressed with their professionalism and ethics to act on behalf of their client. My process was a long one, due to no fault on Williamsons part, but they never dropped the ball and continued to chase the other party until we got the answers we needed. I would choose them again in a heart beat and recommend their services.

Mr T W

Fantastic service from Williamsons Solicitors especially Rachael Scott who handled everything brilliantly from start to finish. Thank you

Mr Beevers

Happy with the work done on my behalf

Mrs T D

Hello, I had a lovely experience at Williamsons. Alison and Katie made everything really easy for me and were really helpful 2really nice people.


Brilliant service from Williamsons. Very efficient and quick responses to any questions or queries I had. Would highly recommend.


Excellent 5* service. We tragically lost our daughter and we found Williamsons Solicitors who guided us through all the claim process. They are extremely knowledgeable and professional with a personal style that made the journey more manageable. There communication is always prompt. Thoroughly recommend Wayne Walker.


I can well recommend, I have received professional and honest service which lead to positive closure of the case. Always responded with care and fully involvement which gave me more confidence to continue. All advices during the progressing of the case was competent and mirrored current situation.

Mrs Hughes

The conveyancing team were excellent, extremely helpful and made sure that I felt valued at all times. A big thank you

Brian S

We would like to thank Gordon for his assistance and reassurance in dealing with the problem regarding the boundary hedge. His professionalism and manner are a credit to the company and we would certainly recommend him to friends.

Miss B

Beth Dyson and colleagues have been excellent during the purchase of my new house. Very responsive to email and phone queries, polite and professional, and the sale has been completed in 13 weeks from acceptance of the offer to completion. Given the current COVID-19 situation and how that has impacted on everyone, that's great. Thanks to everyone at Williamsons for making buying my new home so straightforward!

Miss S

Excellent service from Beth Dyson despite all the pressures of the Covid lockdown. Beth carried out conveyancing of my sale and purchase very thoroughly and efficiently with good communication and always in a helpful and friendly manner. Many thanks.

Joanna H

Well from the moment I met Wayne Walker his professionalism,clarity of thought, and aim to do the best job he can were all evident. He has been involved with my family for five years nearly and has always made me feel as though my views were relevant and integral to furthering the case. Wayne has highly developed organisational skills and we always felt just ‘looked after’ by Wayne snd Williamsons in getting through the very worst of times. Wayne sometimes needed to encourage me to look at things from a different perspective and he always achieved this with firm kindness. Wayne is a great professional but more importantly a fundamentally great human being. I will always recommend Williamsons and especially on the subject of clinical negligence I will always recommend Wayne. Full job well done start to finish. Thanks Wayne there are no words. Jo Hogg (Polly’s mum)


Williamsons Solicitors supported our family to succeed to a very high level. We cannot thank Sarah Jackson enough for her incredible support, dedication and commitment to understanding the finest detail of our case. Her dedication was phonememonal and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend her in a heartbeat. Thank you for bringing closure to our case and for supporting us one hundred percent. We were informed at every stage within the case and knew we were in safe professional hands throughout. Many thanks, Mr and Mrs Appleton.

Asoka T

Very professional and a friendly team, specially Helen Lennon who handled my case.

Carl R

I was very happy with the way they handled my case and still got the result even in these hard times where having at the moment thank you to all involved and I’d recommend you to others

Angie L

Williamsons solicitors were professional, caring and efficient. They dealt with what was, a very upsetting experience I had via medical negligence. They kept me up to date, enquired about my well-being and were always available to either speak to me when I had concerns or answered my emails. They ensured that the compensation I finally received was in my best interests by advising what they thought was a too low first offer of settlement. I cannot thank them enough for the way they handled my case and for pushing for a better higher settlement figure. I would definitely use them again should I ever be in a position to need them Thank you so much.

Suzanne W

Would definitely recommend this company, very knowledgeable on all aspects. Extremely helpful with a caring and kind approach, made me feel at ease and comfortable. I was always kept informed at every stage of my case Very happy and would 100% use them for any other matter if needed Thankyou

Mrs Baker

Excellent service, made to feel very welcome, looked after from the very first minute.. would highly recommend to anyone looking for conveyancing on a property or setting up a will.

Mr W F

alison craven, provided excellent service and went above and beyond to make sure my will was sorted quickly with this current situation we find ourselves in. great,proffessional work.