A patient almost had an operation carried out on the wrong finger at the Orthopaedic Hospital in Gobowen.

The ‘never event’ – in which the wrong finger was actually cut – happened in January, last week’s board of directors meeting, heard and was down to ‘human error’.

There were also three serious incidents reported during the month, including a fall that left a patient with a fracture and an anaesthetic incident which resulted in a period of awareness in a patient which was rectified before surgery started.

Hospital bosses said they were disappointed in the “spike in some patient safety issues”.

Beverley Tabernacle, director of nursing, said: “This was disappointing, but it reflects the trend of people feeling able to report more, and I feel this is a factor.”

Medical director Steve White explained that in the ‘never event’, all processes were followed but it came down to human error.

The procedure was carried out on the correct finger and the patient was informed.

Mr White also told the meeting the hospital had no infections during that period, adding: “That’s fantastic – and it doesn’t just happen.”

The meeting was also told the Referral to Treatment target had been missed in January, reaching 88.47 per cent against a target of 92 per cent.

Kim Barrow, director of operations, said the hospital was on target to improve this in February with 89 per cent and added that nationally there was a dipping trend, but the hospital was “bucking” that.

The aim is to reach 90 per cent by March, but it could be midway through 2017/18 before they hit the 92 per cent target.

Only one English patient had to wait more than 52 weeks – and that was through their own choice – in January, with none in February.

And the hospital has also been busy developing its Care Quality Commission Action Plan with a ‘mock’ inspection, which received praise of care, but also brought to light some issues which the hospital was aware of, and is working towards addressing.

A full report of the inspection was due yesterday.