SERIOUS surgical errors including a patient being given the wrong prosthesis during a knee operation have been reported at Dorset’s hospitals in recent months.

Royal Bournemouth and Poole hospitals have each reported a ‘never event’ – the worst form of mistake deemed to be “entirely preventable” – since September.

Both trusts have now recorded two such events since April but say they “intend to learn” from the issues which led to them occurring.

The incident at Royal Bournemouth Hospital took place in June when a patient undergoing knee surgery was given the wrong prosthesis.

Poor labelling of packaging has been identified as a contributory factor in the error and the trust’s medical director said that the “nationally-recognised” issue had been reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Alyson O’Donnell added that the mistake was spotted mid-procedure and was corrected with “no harm coming to the patient”.

“The trust experienced a never event in June 2018 concerning a patient undergoing a knee replacement,” she said.

“Mid-procedure it was recognised that the incorrect prosthesis was being used and this was corrected immediately.

“No harm came to the patient.

“Product standards for labels on prosthetics packaging is a nationally-recognised issue and following this never event, the trust has raised concerns of product labelling with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).”

She added that as a result of the incident, the trust has improved its product storage procedures and “introduced additional checks” to reduce the risk of it happening again.

The never event reported by Poole Hospital trust related to “an object” being retained during a gynaecological procedure in September.

Poole Hospital trust’s medical director, Dr Angus Wood, said: “Although this incident was very regrettable, the patient concerned was not harmed.

“The surgery has now been successfully performed and the patient discharged from the clinic.

“We intend to learn from this situation, and improve our procedures, to ensure that incidents like this are not repeated.”

Both incidents have been reported to Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group and have been made public in a report to its board.

Seven never events have been reported across the county since April compared to 14 over the preceding 12 months.

The Care Quality Commission is due to publish a report into the occurrence of never events at trusts across England next week.