Mum who had swab left inside her sues Royal Bolton Hospital
A MOTHER who had a swab left inside her after a procedure in the maternity unit at the Royal Bolton Hospital is one of the claimants to launch legal action against Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.
The claim is one of eight registered against the Trust in April — an increase from March when three claims were registered.
Last year 25 claims against the trust were settled by the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts, which is similar to an insurance scheme. Trusts pay a premium, which works on the level of risk.
So far this year, 21 claims have been started against the trust.
Hospital bosses encourage people to talk to the trust before launching a claim.
On possible errors, they say “medicine is not an exact science” and stressed staff work “hard to keep these to a minimum”.
In April, four claims related to delayed diagnosis or a failure to diagnose a condition properly.
Another two are linked to clinical treatment and care, one is for a birth injury and one is for a retained swab.
One in June was listed as negligent surgery and another in July as inappropriate treatment.
The retained swab was one of three cases in the maternity department between July last year and January, 2013.
They were reported as “never events”, which are the most serious incidents and a subsequent investigation revealed all three cases were avoidable.
Two involved swabs, which are usually pieces of gauze used to soak up blood, that were left inside women following natural births.
They were discovered after the two mothers suffered health complications when the swabs became infected.
The third incident, in January this year, involved a woman who was still pregnant. A swab was left inside following a procedure.
Procedures, including training staff to count swabs, have been put into place at the hospital to stop a similar incident happening again.
The trust has a threshold of no more than 12 legal claims registered each month.
They did not breach this threshold last year.
Heather Edwards, head of communications at the trust, said: “If patients have a concern we would encourage them to talk to us in the first instance, but patients do have a right to put in a claim if they feel something has gone wrong.
“Regrettably sometimes there are mistakes and misdiagnoses at any trust. These are subject to the legal process and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
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