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NHS Trust admits failings after patient is given wrong blood type

By Ben Lynch, Local Democracy Reporter

A west London NHS Trust has apologised after giving a blood transfusion to the wrong patient earlier this year.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT) confirmed the patient was not harmed after they had incorrectly been transfused O-negative blood.

A spokesman for the Trust said they have reviewed what went wrong and strengthened their processes.

The incident emerged in a report produced ahead of a Board in Common meeting yesterday between ICHT, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (CWT), The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (THH) and London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (LNW).

The fudged transfusion is listed as one of two ‘never events’ recorded in January 2024 across the four Trusts.

‘Never events’ are serious, largely preventable safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures are implemented. They include things like wrong site surgery or foreign objects left in a person’s body after an operation.

According to the report, a ‘positive patient identification’ was not carried out ahead of the ICHT incident. It notes: “An immediate safety alert was released and the PPID policy reviewed to improve clarity. A new safety improvement priority has been agreed to focus on PPID into 2024/25. The patient did not come to harm.”

A spokesman for the Trust said they apologised to the patient, and immediately issued a safety alert to all relevant staff. “We subsequently reviewed exactly what happened and have now strengthened our processes for ‘positive patient identification’,” they added.

ICHT runs five hospitals in Central and west London – Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea, St Mary’s and The Western Eye.

Picture: Pixabay/Ahmad Ardity

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