West Herts hospital bosses investigate after patient discharged with ‘foreign body’ still inside

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust operates hospitals in Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans

West Herts hospitals chiefs have investigated after a patient was discharged with a ‘foreign object’ left inside following a procedure.

It is understood that the patient underwent the procedure in maternity in May.

The patient was discharged – and only later did it emerge that a ‘foreign object’ had not been removed following the procedure.

West Herts hospital bosses investigate after patient discharged with ‘foreign body’ still inside
West Herts hospital bosses investigate after patient discharged with ‘foreign body’ still inside

It has been reported as a so-called ‘never event’ – an incident deemed to be a serious preventable incident that should never happen.

And on Thursday, July 1, it was highlighted at a meeting of the West Herts Hospitals Trust board.

Following that meeting, the Trust’s chief nurse Tracey Carter said: “We are very sorry for this ‘never event’.

“We have apologised to the patient and ensured that no harm occurred.

“We have reviewed our processes and identified areas for improvement, so we learn from this incident.”

According to reports submitted to the board, in addition to the ‘never event’ in May there were five ‘serious incidents’ reported across the Trust.

Of these, four were in the Women and Children’s Division and one was in the Surgery, Anaesthetic and Cancer Division.

So far this year (2021/22) there have been nine serious incidents recorded by the Trust, which operates Watford General, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans City hospitals.