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Home › News › College pledges to tackle 'never events'

College pledges to tackle 'never events'

10 May 2013

Commenting on a BBC investigation into ‘never events’, Professor Norman Williams, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said:

“The recent survey of ‘never events’ in hospitals in England shows an unacceptable level of preventable mistakes are still happening. However rare these incidents are, we believe never should mean never and avoiding such errors should be the priority of every surgeon.

Together with NHS England, we have formed a taskforce which will look at ways to put an end to such errors.   The group will be working with patients, individuals and organisations to learn from what has happened in the past to understand how to prevent them in the future.

The World Health Organisation Surgical Safety Checklist is instrumental  in reducing ‘never events’ and we have supported its development and putting it into practice. Surgery is about team-working and the checklist allows all members of the theatre team to raise any concerns and is central to preventing avoidable mistakes.”



Notes to Editor:

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling surgeons to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care. Registered charity number:  212808. For more information please visit

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