27 June 2019

NHS Improvement clarify that a wrong site dental local anaesthetic block is not a Never Event

On the 28 May 2019, NHS Improvement published a clarification on their website regarding wrong site dental local anaesthetic blocks and Never Event reporting in England. The clarification confirms that wrong site injection of local anaesthetic for dental procedures should not be reported as a Never Event as the systemic barriers are not strong enough to prevent these types of incidents from occurring. The Never Events list has been amended to add ‘local anaesthetic blocks for dental procedures’ to the list of exclusions under the ‘wrong site surgery’ category of Never Events.

The notice goes onto state that only one incident of wrong site dental local anaesthetic block has been reported throughout England since the revised Never Event list was introduced in February 2018.