The Express & Star has today revealed that 21 serious mistakes took place at three Midlands hospital trusts in 2018-19, prompting concerns over the quality of care offered in the NHS.
The errors included botched operations, such as patients being cut open in the wrong place and material being left inside patients after surgery.
Bosses at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) – one of the trusts where the errors occurred – have today apologised for occasions where standards have fallen.
Dr Edwin Borman, director for Clinical Effectiveness at SaTH, said: "Our priority is to deliver the best possible care to all of our patients and we apologise for the times when our standards have fallen below those we and our patients would expect.
"We ensure any errors are fully investigated, and put plans in place to prevent them from happening again.
"We openly report these events to our Trust Board. We review them thoroughly through root cause analysis and share the nature of these events, learning points identified and action plans required to address them through our clinical governance structures
"We have been working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement, who are satisfied that we are taking these incidents very seriously."
Mistakes were also recorded at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, prompting medical director Dr Jonathan Odum to insist the trust was doing all it can to drive forward improvements.
"The Trust treats all never events very seriously, ensuring they are robustly investigated so that we learn and make improvements," he said.
"By doing so, we can reduce the likelihood of recurrence and prevent further harm to patients. Patients and their families are always fully informed and made aware of the outcomes.
"Whilst we are clear that never events should not happen, they are an incredibly small percentage of the total patients we care for – less than one per cent in the case of 2018/19."
Staff errors were also recorded at the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, which did not respond to a request for a comment.
In some cases the incidents were classed as 'never events', which the NHS classes as "serious, largely preventable" safety breaches.
NHS Improvement, which oversees trusts, said it was satisfied that all three organisations were taking the incidents "very seriously" and were working on improvements.