An inept ambulance crew discharged an 89-year-old coronavirus survivor to a random stranger’s home and tucked her into their bed.
Elizabeth Mahoney had been battling COVID 19 at County Hospital in Pontypool for ten weeks, and her family were naturally extremely relieved to discover she’d finally been given a discharge date of Friday, March 12.
But they began to get concerned when she failed to show up at her home in nearby New Inn at the scheduled time.
It was only after a frantic few hours that it transpired she’d instead been taken by ambulance to an address in Newport, more than eight miles away from where she lived and left in the bed of a stranger.
Her son Brian Mahoney said, from Cwmbran that the entire thing was a catalogue of mistakes from start to finish, and he said that they’d originally been called at around 1 pm on that day and told that their mother was on her way home, so Brian’s wife went over there to welcome her.
But about an hour later he phoned to see what was occurring and was told she hadn’t turned up.
Brian then phoned the hospital, only to be told there’d been a bit of a problem, and he said that his mother had suffered a stroke not so long ago, so naturally they were worried something serious had happened to her.
At approximately 3.40 pm he finally got a call saying she’d been taken to a house in Newport, but that the details weren’t very clear.
The 65-year-old warehouse manager added that a subsequent conversation with someone from the ambulance service revealed that Elizabeth had been put to bed at the property.
They apologised to Brian and told him they were on their way to pick her back up, but he asked what they meant, and said please don’t tell me you’ve left her there, at which point his sister broke into tears – they were all worried sick.
Brian said that, while he was still awaiting an official explanation, he believed his mum’s details were confused with those of a female patient with dementia who was also scheduled to go home from the hospital on that same day.
And he said that as far as he could tell, his mother 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, but he said that how they failed to notice it wasn’t their relative, he couldn’t say, but apparently, they went to check on her a little while later and that’s when the penny eventually dropped and the alarm was raised.
Elizabeth was then re-admitted to hospital, although Brian said that his mother initially wanted to come straight home, but they insisted she go back in to get checked out, especially after having just had coronavirus, and because they had no idea who’s house she’d been taken to and what it was like.
Brian has blamed his mother’s terrified and bewildered state for her failure to point out the mix up as it was happening, and he said that his mother was a pretty quiet woman anyhow, and had been on her own since his dad had died in 2019. However, she did tell them later that she couldn’t work out why she was being called by a different name.
And also, given the woman she’d been mistaken for has dementia, their guess is any endeavour to point out it wasn’t her house was probably put down to her being a tad confused, but who knows, she may have even looked at the unfamiliar surroundings and thought they’d decided to put her into a care home, but it had all been tragic.
Sounds like an episode of ‘One Foot In The Grave’, mind you, the fact that this person had been in hospital with COVID for weeks can’t be seen as humorous at all, but this might be occurring more than we’d like to think – another triumphant success managed extremely well by the NHS!
I’m sure this has probably happened before, but then what do you expect from the NHS that’s so desperate to get rid of them, anywhere will do.