| Botched ops leave 722 objects inside patients in 1 year |
Donna Bowett ... left with 7in forceps inside her after routine operation
A MAN was left infertile after surgeons removed part of the WRONG testicle, The Sun can reveal.
The horrific blunder is just one in a long list of grave medical mistakes made by NHS staff in the past two years.
Despite health spending soaring from ฃ37billion when Labour swept to power in 1997 to ฃ120billion last year, careless staff and botched operations still plague the service.
In Day Three of our NHS health check, The Sun exposes the dossier of errors - obtained following a Freedom of Information request.
We questioned every NHS hospital in England on the subject, as healthcare watchdogs do not publish a comprehensive list.
They revealed a shocking lack of care, ranging from patients being maimed after inept surgeons left operating instruments inside their bodies, to the sick being dumped in hospital bathrooms when wards were full.
A total of 722 objects were left inside patients following operations in 2008 alone - including pliers, scalpels, coils and swabs.
And 11 people were "seriously harmed" during NHS ops every day. Other mistakes included failing to sterilise equipment, which hastens the spread of superbugs MRSA and C.diff.
Nurses and doctors also wrongly administered drugs on a regular basis and gave patients the wrong blood type.
The figures were released for hospital incidents during 2008 because last year's are still being collected by NHS Trusts.
In the past five years, almost 12,200 patients had organs punctured during ops.
The most serious errors uncovered in our probe include a man being left infertile after surgeons at West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, removed part of the wrong testicle.
Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust, West Mids, revealed an eight-year-old suffered brain damage following an ear, nose and throat operation when medical staff did not monitor the child properly.
There was a string of failed vasectomy operations performed for Trafford Healthcare Trust, Manchester.
A Royal Liverpool And Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust patient was left in a bathroom to provide privacy because no side rooms were available.
A woman having routine breast surgery at cancer-specialist hospital The Christie, Manchester, spent 15 hours in the operating theatre due to "staffing and equipment problems".
A nurse with the West Hertfordshire NHS Trust was investigated for allegedly kicking and verbally abusing an elderly male patient.
Surgeons working for the Robert Jones And Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic And District Hospital NHS Trust based in Oswestry, Shrops, left drill bits in two patients.
At Ipswich Hospital, a patient was allowed to slip off an operating table, and - as we reveal below - surgeons left a pair of 7in forceps in a woman after gallbladder surgery at Redditch's Alexandra Hospital.
Northern Devon Healthcare Trust revealed an incorrect cataract implant was fitted in a patient after tests were mixed up.
At Poole Hospital, Dorset, an unsterilised probe was used on two patients.
Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Trust disclosed that sensitive patient notes were delivered to wrong addresses.
At the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, Norfolk, swabs were left in three patients, with one of those suffering internal chemical burns.
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Trust revealed an IT worker sold NHS computer equipment on eBay, which may have contained patient details.
Two patients who underwent knee amputations with East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust died of blood poisoning and gangrene. Neither received suitable antibiotic treatment.
At the Royal United Hospital, Bath, Somerset, a patient died after a nose tube was placed in their lung, and at Southend Hospital in Essex a woman died after medics left a swab inside her.
Individuals cannot be identified due to patient confidentiality - and a number of the victims are taking legal action against the NHS.
Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb has been urging the Department of Health to clamp down on NHS Trusts which fail to make patient safety their top priority.
Mr Lamb, who blames Government targets for many of the failings, said: "We have to ensure that patient safety isn't being compromised to satisfy the whims of Whitehall.
"There really is no excuse for leaving objects inside people. Far too many avoidable mistakes are still being made.
"If we really want to raise standards in the NHS we need to give local people the power to hold their health services to account."
Additional reporting: TOM WELLS
Case study: Donna Bowett
MUM Donna was left with a set of 7in forceps inside her after a routine operation.
The 39-year-old, who ironically works as a NURSE, spent three months begging doctors to investigate the excruciating pains she felt after her gallbladder surgery in May last year.
Scarred ... Donna's X-ray pic showing forceps
They brushed her fears aside, but after she managed to arrange an X-ray the images revealed the surgical tool was still inside her.
She is still in constant pain today as the forceps appear to have caused internal damage.
Donna had her operation at Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, Worcs, near her home.
When she complained of shooting pains soon after, medics blamed a water infection.
Then, during an MRI scan, Donna says she felt the machine's powerful magnets try to pull the metal forceps through her skin.
A medic told Donna not to worry - even telling her: "The times of leaving instruments inside you are long gone."
Finally, an X-ray at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, where she works, detected the equipment.
The mother-of-four said: "When I went for the X-ray, the pain was horrendous. I started crying and they asked me if I had anything metal on me."
John Rostill, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, described the case as "extremely unusual" and said: "We would like to apologise unreservedly.
"We have taken steps to further improve standards of safety."
MyViewBy JOYCE ROBINS
Co-Director of Patient Concern
PATIENTS and the public find it mind-boggling that compliance with Department of Health or National Patient Safety Agency safety initiatives is voluntary.
In no other life-and-death business would this be so. But apparently no hospital or healthcare worker can be ordered to do anything.
So long as this culture persists, needless and inexcusable harm to patients will continue.
The mistakes uncovered by The Suns Freedom of Information request really are astonishing.
I can understand why people fear going into hospital when they read about errors like this.
You go to hospital to be made better not to be injured or have bits of metal left inside you.
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