Never events are serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented. They include incidents such as:
Incidents are considered to be never events if:
You can find out more about never events and the 25 types of incidents that are considered to be never events in The never events list: 2013/14 update.
NHS England commissioned a surgical never events taskforce to examine and clarify the reasons for the persistence of these patient safety incidents, and to produce a report making recommendations on how they can be eradicated. This report was published in February 2014, and NHS England has begun work on how the recommendations can be implemented.
As part of our commitment to be open and transparent about patient safety incident reporting, we have begun publishing data on never events in greater detail than ever before. The NHS in England is now one of the only healthcare systems in the world that is this open and transparent about patient safety incident reporting, particularly around never events. We are clear that we need to openly tackle these issues, not ignore them.