A PATIENT was left with a “foreign object” inside them following a procedure at Royal Bolton Hospital.

NHS Improvement has released its provisional report detailing the suspected “never event” ­- so called because they so serious they should never happen.

According to the report there were 71 reported cases of “retained foreign object post-procedure” across the country's hospitals between April and December of last year.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust recorded one never event in that time period. Nearby Salford Royal NHS Trust recorded one case of wrong-site surgery.

Foreign objects can include anything from forceps, wires or swabs. The report does not detail the the circumstances surrounding individual cases.

But The Bolton News was told in this incident the patient was not harmed.

In total across the country there were 350 suspected never events. These varied from operating on the wrong body parts to overdoses of drugs including insulin.

The report stated: “To support learning from never events we are committed to publishing this data as early as possible. However, because reports of apparent never events are submitted by healthcare providers as soon as possible, often before local investigation is complete, all data is provisional and subject to change."

A spokesman for Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said: “As a Trust we review thoroughly each patient safety incident that is reported, and produce clear guidance for staff to ensure that it is very unlikely to happen again.

“A never event is by definition the most serious type of incident, and as such we take every possible step to ensure that they never occur.

“In this case, no harm occurred to the patient as a result and lessons have been learned from the incident.”

Between April 2018 and March 2019, medics at the Royal Bolton Hospital treated or operated on the wrong body parts on three separate occasions.

Never events are said to have the potential to cause serious patient harm or death ­— and should not happen if national guidance or safety recommendations have been implemented, and it is not about apportioning blame to organisations when these incidents occur but rather to learn.