Wrong-site block no longer a 'never event'

  • Date: 28 February 2020

THE FGDP(UK) has confirmed that wrong site intra-oral block has now been removed from NHS England’s list of 'never events'.

A joint working group from NHS England and NHS Improvement recommended the change last year.

The definition of the 'wrong site surgery' category of never events still includes wrong site block for pain relief but 'local anaesthetic blocks for dental procedures' has been added to the list of exclusions.

The administration by dental professionals of local anaesthesia in the wrong site will still be classified as a patient safety incident.

Former FGDP(UK) Dean, Mick Horton, who represented the Faculty on the working group which recommended the exclusion, said: "I'm delighted that wrong site block has been re-classified as a patient safety incident. It really never should have been classed as a never event in the first place, as systemic barriers are not in place to make it wholly preventable, and it is questionable whether it causes serious patient harm."

The removal leaves wrong site tooth extraction as the only dental never event, and practice teams can minimise the risk of this occurring by consulting the related NHS Local Safety Standard for Invasive Procedures toolkit.

The FGDP(UK) is seeking the introduction of an independent, trustworthy and anonymous system for the reporting of all significant events in dental practice, including never events, to enable the profession to adapt its practice in response to the research and risk analysis such a resource would facilitate.

Source: FGDP(UK) News

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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