SURGICAL equipment was left inside a patient and the wrong body part operated on at Colchester Hospital.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Trust, which runs the Turner Road site, recorded three never events from April to the end of November.

At Colchester Hospital one suffered wrong site surgery and one had a foreign object left in following surgery.

There was a further incident of wrong site surgery at Ipswich Hospital, which is also run by the trust.

The errors are recorded as never events as the NHS says they should never happen as they could endanger a patient’s life.

The incidents are recorded even if the action does not cause the patient’s life to be put in danger.

The data comes as the Care Quality Commission told Colchester Hospital it must ensure changes made from never events are fully embedded in clinical practice to minimise the risk of re-occurrence.

Catherine Morgan, chief nurse at the trust, said: “We take incidents which compromise safety extremely seriously and view any never event as one too many.

“We thoroughly investigate any incidents which occur so that we can learn from them and take action to prevent them from happening again.

“We also share our findings with the patient who has been affected and their family.

“It is also important to stress the trust now cares for more than 10,000 people every day, which means never events remain rare.”

No details on the never events at Colchester Hospital were revealed in the NHS data.