More media misrepresentation of the NHS… following a plan?


The BBC is reporting today that some 750 ‘never incidents’ – incidents that the Dept of Health says ‘should never happen’ – occurred in 2012/13. These incidents include such things as clamps or gauze left inside a patient after an operation, or operations being carried out on the wrong body part.

Radio 4’s feature on the statistics included an interview from a woman whose mother died after a feeding tube went into her lung rather than her stomach, which is a terrible tragedy for the family involved, but does this make the NHS a bad health service, or represent a serious problem on a ‘macro’ scale?

750 sounds like a lot. However, according to an NHS spokesperson, this total represents 4 out of every 100,000 procedures – or 0.004%. You’re around 2.5 times more likely to be killed in a road accident on any given day than you are to…

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