An investigation has been launched after a hospital admitted five operations had been performed on the wrong part of patients’ bodies.
Officials say the series of “never events” – avoidable and serious blunders – took place at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Devon.
One example involved an angioplasty treatment – a technique used to widen or narrow blocked arteries.
The patient required the procedure on their left side but it was carried out on the right side of their body.
Five separate botched “never events” procedures since November have now come to light and an investigation launched.
A spokeswoman for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Our staff have reported five incidents since November via our incident reporting system.
“A never event is a serious, preventable incident. We have classified these as never events as they involve wrong site surgery or intervention.
“In each instance, the patient involved is aware of the incident, has been offered an apology and will be involved in the full investigation.
“We are still investigating and only when we know what the contributory factors and root causes are in each case can we take action to try to prevent a similar occurrence.
“Healthcare is complex and we have excellent staff but humans are liable to human error.
“Our staff are devastated when anything goes wrong because they come to work to help people and want to provide the highest standard of care every time.
“They would never wish to harm a patient. As a result of the incidents that have occurred we have revised our theatre safety plan, embedding the lessons from what has happened recently to create a new plan to go forward.”