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Elderly Woman Taken To Wrong Home By Ambulance And Put In Stranger's Bed

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Elderly Woman Taken To Wrong Home By Ambulance And Put In Stranger's Bed

And elderly woman was taken to the wrong home by an ambulance crew and tucked up in a complete stranger's bed.

Elizabeth Mahoney had been battling Covid-19 for 10 weeks at County Hospital in Pontypool, when she was eventually allowed to go home on 12 March.

However, the 89-year-old's family became worried when she didn't arrive home as she was supposed to.

According to reports, Ms Mahoney had in fact been taken to a property in Newport, eight miles from her own home, and put to bed.

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Speaking to Wales Online about the bizarre mix-up, her son Brian Mahoney said the family was worried sick for her.

He said: "The whole thing was a catalogue of errors from start to finish.

"We'd originally been called at about 1pm on that day and told Mum was on her way home, so my wife went over there to greet her. About an hour later I rang to see what was happening and was told she still hadn't turned up.

Elizabeth Mahoney and her late husband Kenneth. Credit: Wales Online
Elizabeth Mahoney and her late husband Kenneth. Credit: Wales Online
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"At about 3.40pm I eventually got a call saying she'd been taken to a house in Newport, but that the details weren't really clear.

"They apologised and told me they were on their way to pick her back up. I just went, 'What do you mean? Please don't tell me you've left her there,' at which point my sister burst into tears - we were all worried sick."

Brian says that neither he nor his family were given an actual explanation as to how this mix-up happened, though he suspects his mum's records were confused with those of another female patient, who had dementia and was due to be discharged on the same day as her.

Brian says: "As far as I can tell, Mum was taken to this other lady's house by mistake and, somehow, whoever answered the door told the ambulance staff to take her into the bedroom and make her comfortable.

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"How they failed to notice it wasn't their relative, I can't say. But apparently they went to check on her a little while later and that's when the penny finally dropped and the alarm was raised."

Brian said that his mum was confused as to why the ambulance crew were calling her a different name.

He added: "Also, given the woman she'd been mistaken for has dementia, my guess is any attempt to point out it wasn't her house was possibly put down to her being a bit muddled.

The 89-year-old was taken to the wrong home and put in a stranger's bed. Credit: PA
The 89-year-old was taken to the wrong home and put in a stranger's bed. Credit: PA
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"Who knows, she may have even looked at the unfamiliar surroundings and thought we'd decided to put her in a care home. It's heartbreaking.

"All we want is to find out how this occurred and ensure no one else ever has to go through a similar experience."

According to reports, an investigation has since been launched into the bizarre incident.

A statement to the South Wales Argus from the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust's director of operations, Mark Harris, said: "On March 12, our non-emergency patient transport service undertook a routine home transfer from County Hospital, Pontypool, which regrettably saw a patient discharged to the wrong address for a short period of time.

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"We are working closely with colleagues at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to fully understand the chain of events and establish exactly what happened.

"We have extended a sincere apology to both families concerned for the distress caused, and will continue to liaise directly with those families as the investigation progresses."

Featured Image Credit: Wales Online

Topics: covid, Coronavirus, Ambulance, Wales, Health, Covid-19

Dominic Smithers
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