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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Probe launched after wire left in Cumbrian patient

Medical staff accidentally left a wire in a patient’s body following an operation at Whitehaven’s struggling West Cumberland Hospital.

West Cumberland photo
The West Cumberland Hospital

An independent review has been commissioned by hospital bosses after it emerged it is the second incident of its kind in five months.

The guidewire incident is so serious it has been classified as a ‘never event’, defined as a ‘serious, largely preventable patient safety incident’ which should have been avoided had “the available preventative measures been implemented by healthcare providers”.

News of the error has emerged just days after health watchdog the Care Quality Commission published a critical report of the hospital.

It called on North Cumbria University Hospital Trust, which runs it, to take action in relation to staffing levels, patient welfare and record keeping.

A guidewire is used by surgeons mapping their way to areas they are operating on.

The guidewire incident was detailed in a report to the trust board.

It stated: “The never event declared in May is the second relating to a retained guidewire in the same clinical area, therefore an independent review has been commissioned.”

A separate report to the Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, which commissions health services in the county, revealed the wire was left in after “the insertion of CVH catheter”.

It added: “The incident is subject to a full root cause analysis investigation.”

The failure was one of five serious untoward incidents (SUIs) recorded in May at the West Cumberland Hospital and Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary.

These included the alleged suicide of an inpatient on Patterdale Ward at the Whitehaven hospital.

Deividas Sereika, 40, of Edinburgh Road, Maryport, died a few hours after he is alleged to have jumped out of a window.

The board heard that a joint review has been arranged between the trust and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust regarding the mental health assessment of the patient.

A separate SUI related to a delay in obtaining a mental health assessment for a patient in the A&E department at the Cumberland Infirmary.

As a result, the trust has pledged to learn from its mistakes.

“Previous SUIs in the trust have involved patients who have absconded and subsequently died,” the report said. “The respective medical directors (at the hospital trust and partnership trust) will ensure that the outputs of these investigations also review learning and recommendations from previous incidents.”

Have your say

The staff at West Cumberland are dedicated and hard working. The main problems come form low staffing levels at all grades which are due to funding cuts. Don't blame the folk who genuinely care about the people in our area, especially if you don't know the pressures that they work under. Try working on an understaffed night shift and then see who you want to blame.

Posted by Katie on 5 July 2013 at 13:49

The staff at West Cumberland are dedicated and hard working. The main problems come form low staffing levels at all grades which are due to funding cuts. Don't blame the folk who genuinely care about the people in our area, especially if you don't know the pressures that they work under. Try working on an understaffed night shift and then see who you want to blame.

Posted by Katie on 5 July 2013 at 13:44

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