Welsh Ambulance Service apologizes after elderly patient dropped off at wrong house
Family members of the recovering COVID-19 patient said she was tucked into a stranger's bed eight miles from her home
By Laura French
UNITED KINGDOM — The Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust is investigating after an ambulance crew reportedly dropped an elderly patient off at the wrong home last month.
ITV reports that Elizabeth Mahoney, 89, who was recovering from COVID-19, was brought from the hospital to a residence eight miles away from her own home and then tucked into a stranger's bed on March 12, according to family members.
Mahoney's son told ITV that the family became concerned when Mahoney was still not at home about an hour after the hospital called to say she was on her way. When they called the hospital back, they were told there had been a mix-up and staff were going back to pick her up.
The son said that after speaking with hospital officials, he believes his mother's information had been mixed up with that of another elderly female patient, and that somehow the person who answered the door for the ambulance crew did not realize the wrong person was being brought in and tucked into bed.
He also said that the other patient involved in the apparent mixup has dementia, which may explain why his mother wouldn't have been believed if she said she was at the wrong house. The person inside the home eventually realized Mahoney was not their relative after going back into the bedroom to check on her.
Welsh Ambulance Service Assistant Director of Operations Mark Harris said in a statement, "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," according to ITV.