September 26, 2019 11.25 am This story is over 50 months old

Family left distraught after being shown wrong body at mortuary

The hospital trust has issued an apology

The family of an 81-year-old woman who died unexpectedly were left shocked by an “absolutely awful” mistake which saw them shown the wrong body at the mortuary.

Patricia Riley, 81, died at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital on September 13. Her husband Terry and the family decided they wanted to go and see her one last time, BBC Look North reported.

However, when they went to the mortuary the body of another woman was brought out in front of them and the grandchildren.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has since issued an apology and will investigate the incident, but the devastation is making it difficult for the family to focus on planning Patricia’s funeral.

Patricia’s husband Terry. Photo: BBC Look North

Terry told BBC Look North: “The grandchildren were there. They hadn’t seen a dead body ever and here they were being presented with a person who wasn’t their grandmother.

“We were all expecting to see Pat laying there, it was absolutely awful, it was dreadful.”

The couple’s daughter Sheila Clark. Photo: BBC Look North

The couple’s daughter Sheila Clark added: “I couldn’t understand how such an enormous mistake could have happened. It’s something that should never ever ever happen to anybody. I can’t explain how devastating it was really.

“I want an assurance this isn’t going to happen to another family. They need to review their policies and make sure they’re robust enough.”

ULHT’s CEO Andrew Morgan said: “We offer our sincere and unreserved apology – what happened was truly distressing and we cannot begin to appreciate how dreadful this was for the family at such a traumatic time.

“We have been in contact with the family and are investigating this incident thoroughly and will feedback to them as soon as this is completed.”