Number of “serious incidents” at Whittington Hospital revealed

Whittington Hospital. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Whittington Hospital. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

The Whittington Hospital has had more than 170 “serious incidents” in the last three years, it has been revealed.

A freedom of information request discovered the hospital has reported a total of 176 so-called serious incidents since April 2010.

The term serious incident is used by the NHS to describe something which happens in a hospital which is “unexpected or likely to attract public and media interest”.

It covers a broad range of events but includes unexpected death of patients, staff or visitors, allegations of abuse and lost or stolen patient data.

According to figures seen by the Gazette there were 45 separate serious incidents reported at the hospital in Magdala Avenue in last financial year - 2012/13.

That figure was dramatically down from the previous year when the hospital reported a total of 65 separate serious incidents.

In 2010/11 the total was highest with 66 different serious incidents reported.

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The Gazette asked for a full break down of each incident but was refused by freedom of information officers at the hospital.

A spokesman for Whittington Health, the NHS Trust in charge of the hospital, said: “Whittington Heath takes the safety of its patients extremely seriously. Like all NHS providers, we have processes in place for the identification, reporting and investigation of serious incidents.

“Our aim is to examine why these occurred, the lessons to be learnt to avoid them in the future to improve patient care.”