Inquiry into eye blunders

Doncaster Royal Infirmary
Doncaster Royal Infirmary
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Health bosses have launched an investigation after six serious incidents in just one month at a eye department in Doncaster health trust.

The ophthalmology departments at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will now be subject to an external review following a series of blunders.

Health commissioners warned they could turn to other providers if the trust did not make ‘considerable improvements’ in the next six months.

The trust said it takes all incidents ‘very seriously’ and action has already been taken,

According to papers discussed at a NHS Doncaster clinical commissioning group meeting, six serious incidents were reported in July ‘as a result of poor review processes’.

The news comes after an separate investigation was launched when a patient had the wrong eye lasered by medics at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

The incident was been classed as a ‘never event’ – something that should never happen.

An external consultant ophthalmologist from Nottingham has been tasked with conducting the review.

The report said: “The DBH also suggested they commission their internal auditors to perform an immediate review of the systems and processes as they were likely to be a significant contributing factor in the recent incidents.”

Members of the commissioning group warned that if ‘considerable improvements’ were not made within six months, alternative options will be considered.

The report said: “Due to the recent problems, the commissioner is expecting a quick implementation of the specifications and considerable improvements within six months. Alternative options will be considered if no improvement can be demonstrated.

“Other providers could deliver elements of the service although the trauma element would need careful consideration.”

A spokesman for the hospitals trust said: “We take any incidents very seriously and immediate action has already been taken.

“Any serious incidents are also fully investigated so we can learn all possible lessons. Those investigations are currently being completed and any further recommendations will be fully implemented.

“In addition, we have invited an independent external expert to carry out a review and give us their thoughts.

“We place the very highest value on the safety and quality of the care we provide to our patients and are open and receptive to ideas and learning from other organisations.”