An elderly woman was discharged from hospital on morphine, taken to the home of another patient and mistakenly left in their bed by ambulance staff in Skegness.
Joyce Wright, 83, was wrongly allowed to leave Pilgrim Hospital in Boston and dropped at a house 40 miles from her home in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, on Tuesday.
Staff used a key safe at the house, which belonged to another patient supposed to have been discharged, to get in before taking Mrs Wright up to the bedroom.
Her son Andy, 55, said he was not informed his mother had been sent home, learning of the mistake when the other patients’ relatives found Ms Wright the next day.
Ambulance staff rushed to the house on Wednesday morning where they found Ms Wright still in the bedroom, and took her back to hospital.
Mr Wright said that he was ‘very, very angry’ when he found out about the ‘epic error’ and believed the incident was ‘a result of the pressures that everybody is under’.
Speaking to The BBC, Andy said the mistake was ‘absolutely shocking’.
‘It was dark and my mum was on pain relief, on morphine, so obviously things were a bit confusing for her.
‘She didn’t quite realise [where she was] at that particular time and obviously she was quite drowsy.’
He said he feared the outcome could have been more serious.
He told The Sun: ‘It is unbelievable. What if they gave my mum the wrong medication? I thought patients wear wristbands so this can’t happen.’
Mrs Wright had been in hospital following a hip operation.
She was reportedly mistaken for another female patient who was ready to go home.
Mr Wright said that he had been told his mother had been taken home instead of the patient in the room next door.
A statement from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and East Midlands Ambulance Service read: ‘We have spoken with both patients and their families to offer our heartfelt and sincere apologies.
‘This clearly falls below the standard of care we want to deliver. A review is underway to ensure it does not happen again.’
The trust has since launched an investigation into how the mix-up occurred.
Mrs Wright is reportedly well and in ‘good spirits’.