Royal Bolton Hospital has apologied after three mistakes so serious they are known as “never events” happened to patients over the last year.

The mistakes include leaving a “foreign object” inside a patient after surgery, performing surgery on the wrong part of a patient's body and giving a patient medication through “the wrong route.”

The errors were detailed in a provisional NHS report covering the period between April 1 2021 and March 31 this year.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust chief nurse Tyrone Roberts said: “Events such as these are extremely rare and our hard working staff are committed to providing exceptional care for our patients.

“We apologise to those patients and their families who have been affected.

“As a Trust, we have systems in place to ensure we understand what happened as quickly as possible, and to learn from them to prevent it happening in the future.”

The mistakes are known in the NHS are “never events” because they should never be allowed to happen.

According to NHS England 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 properly implemented

Unison Bolton health branch secretary Linda Miller said that given the huge pressure frontline staff have faced, improved pay and conditions are vital to improving morale and the quality of care, thus ensuring these mistakes are less likely.

Health services management claims that recording these events is not about blaming particular trusts but rather to give them the opportunity to learn.

As such, every year the NHS releases reports detailing such mistakes at NHS Trust’s all over the country.

A total of 407 never events were recorded in England over the last year including nearly 100 cases of “foreign objects” including drill bits and wire cutters accidentally left inside NHS patients.

Nearby Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust did not record any never events at all over the last year while Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust reported two, both cases of performing surgery on the wrong site.

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust recorded a total of 11 never events.