Medical swabs left inside women treated at Ilford and Romford hospitals

18:19 20 February 2013

Medical swabs were left inside two women who received treatments at hospitals in Ilford and Romford.

In one case, according to a report by NHS North East London and the City, doctors at King George Hospital in Ilford delivered a woman’s baby using forceps, and a medical swab was left inside her.

In a second a swab was left inside a mum-to-be who had surgery at Romford’s Queen’s Hospital to prevent premature birth.

The mothers suffered “no ill effects” according to the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs both the hospitals.

The incidents are one of a government list of “never events” – preventable serious safety incidents that should never happen.

A BHRUT spokesman said: “We take never events very seriously. We have carried out detailed investigations into both of these cases and arranged an external review.

“The women concerned suffered no ill effects and have been fully involved in the investigations.

“Unfortunately this is a persistent problem across the whole of the NHS.

“We are using detailed evidence from NHS London into similar cases across the capital to establish new systems.”

The trust is reviewing processes for swab and instrument counts and improving education and training.

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