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Derriford Hospital reports two 'never events' in just two months

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth has reported two so-called 'never events' so far this year.

One involved a swab being left in a patient, while another saw a wrong-sided prosthesis fitted. A third never event was also reported from 2010, where a patient returned to hospital having had surgery on the wrong site.

A 'never event' is described as a "serious safety incident". The Trust has apologised for both cases.

All three incidents have been fully reported and are the subject of comprehensive investigations.

We have apologised personally to the patients affected and we are extremely sorry that these mistakes have happened.

Our staff work extremely hard to care for patients and no-one comes to work to cause harm. We see and treat nearly half a million patients per year and, for hundreds of thousands of people, their investigations and treatment go well and they report being highly satisfied with their care.

But as our staff are human, very occasionally mistakes happen and things do not go as planned.

When mistakes happen it’s essential that we’re open and honest about them with the patients affected and the public and, importantly, that we use them as learning opportunities to help us improve our services and make them safer.

– Ann James, Chief Executive Derriford Hospital

In 2013 the hospital reported five never events. In 2014, they reported one.

West Country hospitals fined millions over waiting times

Hospitals in the West have been penalised for their A&E waiting times. Credit: PA

West Country hospitals are being fined millions for failing to meet targets.

A&E waiting times and ambulance handover deadlines are among the problems which have cost Devon hospitals over £6.5m and the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust, which has a £7m deficit, over a million pounds.

The nationally agreed targets are set every year by NHS England. Local clinical commissioning groups hold the hospitals to account by levying fines, reinvesting the money into schemes to improve services.

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth was charged £4.8 million, but received half back in compensation.

In 2014/15, we paid fines of £4.8m. We received £2.89m in compensation.

In recognition of the exceptional emergency pressures faced by the Trust, commissioners agreed to compensate the trust financially for a loss of income for planned operations that were unable to be undertaken and that emergency activity was costing more than the 50% of tariff paid.

NHS England required fines for performance to be applied by commissioners.

– Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

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Three in hospital after Plymouth house fire

The fire started on the ground floor of a house in Chaddlewood Avenue Credit: ITV News

Three people have been taken to hospital after fire crews rescued them from a house fire in Plymouth.

The fire started on the ground floor of a house in Chaddlewood Avenue in St Judes early this morning.

The woman and two men were trapped upstairs. They were rescued from a first floor window and taken to the city's Derriford Hospital suffering from severe smoke inhalation.

Derriford Hospital spent thousands coping with black alert

Derriford Hospital spends thousands coping with black alert Credit: ITV News

Derriford Hospital spent nearly £2 million on over time and agency staff in just one month as it coped with huge demand due to its black alert status.

For the first three months of this year the Plymouth hospital declared black alert as it dealt with what it describes as "unprecedented and sustained" demand.

As people will know, we faced a significant period of unprecedented and sustained demand on our emergency and medical services, which impacted right across the hospital.

During this time, on numerous occasions, we put out internal and public appeals to our staff to ask if they would work extra shifts and offering overtime, to enable us to meet the pressures we faced and to ensure our patients continued to be well cared for. Our staff responded admirable during these difficult times.

It was also necessary for us to have a flexible temporary workforce resource during this time. We did this by redeploying staff and utilising NHS Professionals (our supplier of bank staff) and where these options were not available to us then, as an absolute last resort, we used agency staff.

– Kevin Baber, Chief Operating Officer for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

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1000 operations cancelled at Derriford Hospital

1,000 operations have been cancelled at Derriford Hospital Credit: PA

The NHS crisis seems to be deepening across our region - as it's revealed more than 1,000 operations have been cancelled at Derriford Hospital in Devon since January.

It's currently on "black alert", which is the NHS's highest level of alert, as is the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trusts and Yeovil Hospital in Somerset.

In January we cancelled about 700 operations either on the day of surgery or in advance. I would expect February to be the same, so it will be over 1,000 and we're very sorry about that.

The patients that have attended our A&E department have needed to. We have not seen large numbers of patients attending who are inappropriate attenders.

– Kevin Baber, Chief Operating Officer for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

New Cancer drug could put an end to chemotherapy

Professor Simon Rule trialled the new drug, Imbruvica, at Derriford hospital Credit: ITV News

Plymouth's Derriford Hospital is at the forefront of revolutionary new research that could see chemotherapy treatment for Cancer become a thing of the past.

A new drug that is giving patients their lives back has just become available on the NHS. It's credited with transforming the lives of patients with a rare form of blood cancer.

Tune in tonight at 6pm to see the full story.

New cancer drug approved after Plymouth trial

A Plymouth consultant is the first in Europe to prescribe a new alternative to chemotherapy for certain types of blood cancer.

Professor Simon Rule trialled the new drug, Imbruvica, at Derriford hospital.

It has now been approved for use across the NHS as part of the Cancer Drugs Fund.

We were the first people to use this drug in Europe here in Plymouth and we treated thirteen patients and the thing that struck us very early was that the patients all responded and there were no side effects and that's not something you expect, you normally expect to get effects with at least some side effects and these drugs really are remarkably side effect free.

– PROFESSOR SIMON RULE, Consultant Haematologist at Derriford Hospital/Plymouth University
Imbruvica was trialled at Derriford hospital.
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