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Surgical caseload and the risk of surgical Never Events in England

Moppett, I.K.; Moppett, S.H.


Professor of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine

S.H. Moppett


Never Events are medical errors that are believed to be preventable with appropriate measures. We surveyed all English acute NHS trusts to determine the number of surgical Never Events and surgical caseload for 2011–2014. There were 742 surgically related Never Events in three years, with no change in the number annually. The risk of a surgical Never Event was 1 in 16 423 operations (95% CI 1 in 15 283 to 1 in 17 648) or 1 Never Event per 12.9 operating theatres per year (95% CI 1 in 12.1 to 1 in 13.9). The risk of severe harm due to a Never Event was approximately 1 in 238 939 operations. There was no meaningful association between number of Never Events and other safety indicators. Surgical Never Events are undoubtedly important to individual patients, but they are not a useful metric to judge quality of care.


Moppett, I., & Moppett, S. (2015). Surgical caseload and the risk of surgical Never Events in England. Anaesthesia, 71(1), doi:10.1111/anae.13290

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 21, 2015
Online Publication Date Nov 23, 2015
Publication Date Dec 10, 2015
Deposit Date May 12, 2017
Journal Anaesthesia
Print ISSN 0003-2409
Electronic ISSN 0003-2409
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 71
Issue 1
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: