A HOSPITAL has apologised after a patient mistakenly had a tissue sample taken from his liver during an operation.

The unidentified patient had been booked in to have a biopsy carried out on his pancreas at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.

However the biopsy was carried out on the liver instead.

The mistake was picked up at the end of the procedure and hospital staff gave the patient a full apology.

Details of the incident, which happened in June, emerged in a report to the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust board.

The trust has commissioned an external review from an expert in patient safety and the findings are due imminently.

The board report said the investigation was ongoing but all theatre personnel had been made aware of the incident and checklist procedures reinforced.

The incident was one of three so-called “never events” the trust provisionally reported to NHS England between April and the end of June this year.

Never events are serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that shouldn’t happen if the available preventative measures have been implemented.

A second incident, which happened at the end of May, involved a patient who had a swab left inside them following an operation at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

No swabs were identified as missing at the count at the end of the operation.

However five days later the patient contacted the hospital to say that she had discovered an object that appeared to be a swab.

The patient was examined in clinic that day and an apology was given.

A trust spokeswoman said: “Never events are very rare and the majority cause minimal or no harm to the patients.

“However, we realise that these incidents are called never events because they should never happen and we have made significant improvements in recent years to try to ensure that all preventable incidents do not occur.

“Whenever we have reported a never event, we have always informed the patient involved and their family, we thoroughly investigate it and we have put measures in place to prevent it from happening again.”