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Elderly woman discharged from hospital and put to bed in wrong house

Jon Sharman
·2-min read
Elizabeth Mahoney had been a patient at County Hospital in Pontypool (Google Street View)
Elizabeth Mahoney had been a patient at County Hospital in Pontypool (Google Street View)

An elderly woman was discharged from hospital to a stranger’s house after being treated for coronavirus and put into bed there, despite telling ambulance workers she was in the wrong place.

Elizabeth Mahoney, 89, had been a patient at County Hospital in Pontypool, south Wales, for 10 weeks, according to local media reports.

She was discharged on 12 March but taken to the wrong place by the Welsh Ambulance Service (WAS).

Ms Mahoney’s son Brian, 65, told Wales Online the family began to worry when she did not arrive on time.

He said: “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.

“Mum had suffered a stroke not so long back, so naturally we were concerned something bad had happened to her. 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.”

Mr Mahoney told the site he later discovered that his mother had been taken into the wrong house and put into bed there.

In an interview with The South Wales Argus, he added: “She said she knew she was not in her own house, and when she went in she had tried to tell the ambulance workers.

“They also kept calling her Margaret, and continued to take her into the home.”

In a statement, WAS admitted its non-emergency transport service workers had taken Ms Mahoney to the wrong place “for a short time”.

The team’s assistant operations director, Mark Harris, said: “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.”

A spokesperson for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which oversees County Hospital, said: “We acknowledge the upset and distress this incident has caused Mrs Mahoney and her family and we are assisting with the investigation being undertaken by the Welsh Ambulance Service.”

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