An inquiry has been launched after a biopsy was carried out on the wrong side of a patient’s body.

The error, which occurred at an undisclosed hospital in North Wales, has been classed as a “never event” by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – that is one which was largely preventable and should never have happened.

A report to this week’s Board meeting says the incident, in which an incision was made on the left instead of the right-hand side, occurred in May.

“Remedial action was taken to ensure the re-biopsy was undertaken appropriately and to ensure future patient safety,” it states.

Each Never Event is investigated by a team chaired by a director and the root causes analysed to prevent a recurrence.

A similar “wrong site surgery” was one of five Never Events recorded in 2017-18. Two involved foreign objects such as swabs being left inside patients after surgery, one related to an overdose of methotrexate, which is used to treat cancer, and in the other case medication was administered by the wrong route.