Never say never: Never events, NatSSIPs and the need for a new approach in dentistry

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It is reportedly more perilous to stay in an NHS hospital than to cross the road. A recent survey of 187,337 deaths within 30 days of hospital admission during 1 year revealed that 1.3% of patient deaths were attributable to their hospitalisation. A review of the factors associated with in-hospital death revealed that a person admitted on a Sunday had a 16% increased risk of dying compared with someone admitted on a Wednesday.1There is also a human cost when things go wrong and a ‘never event’ occurs, often with severe consequences for patients, their families and healthcare professionals.2This has led to an increased focus on the pressures on staff that contribute to errors.3We review the current recommendations for handling never events, and the need for cultural changes to improve and develop patient safety in dentistry.

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