A FRIGHTENED and confused 89-year-old woman was mistakenly taken to the wrong house - eight miles from her own - by an ambulance crew, after being discharged from hospital.

And her son has told the Argus the “horrific” incident also involved her being left at that house, with a stranger, for more than two hours, after being put to bed by the crew.

Elizabeth Mahoney had been admitted to Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny on December 27 with suspected Covid-19.

After testing positive, she was transferred to County Hospital in Pontypool and spent 10 weeks there before her family were told she would be coming home.

Care packages were to be set up and a hospital bed was to be installed at her home in New Inn.

Her son Brian Mahoney said he was told that his mother would be discharged at 2pm on March 12, and taken by ambulance to her home.

At 1pm that day, he received a call to say she was already on her way.

Mr Mahoney said: “My wife went up to her home to wait for the ambulance.

“I rang her at about 1.45pm to see what was happening and she said that mum still hadn’t arrived.

“We waited a bit and then rang the ward and they said there had been an issue. I thought maybe mum had had a heart attack.”

Mr Mahoney was told the hospital would phone back. When he got the call an hour later, he was told his mother had been taken to an address in Newport by mistake.

“We assumed she was still on the ambulance at that point,” Mr Mahoney said.

“Then we got a call from the ambulance service - they apologised and said they had put her in bed in a home in Newport.

“They wanted to bring her straight home after this. I insisted on her going back to hospital, because we had no idea what the house was like that she had been taken into.”

Ms Mahoney was readmitted to hospital following the incident, and described the situation to her son when he visited the following day.

Mr Mahoney said: “We asked mum what she remembered. She said she knew she was not in her own house, and when she went in she had tried to tell the ambulance workers this was not her house.

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

“She said she was frightened and very confused.”

Five weeks on, Mr Mahoney is disappointed with the response he has received.

An investigation was launched, which involved a meeting with the family today.

Mr Mahoney said: “I told them how disappointed I was with everything that happened - the poor communication, and the fact the hospital wanted to send Mum home after spending over two hours in a house in Newport, and in some other woman’s bed, plus being left with a total stranger.”

Of the delay in being told what was going on, he added: “The most disappointing thing for me was, they were not up front with it. They had no idea where she was.

“We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

Mark Harris, the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s assistant director of operations for the non-emergency patient transport service, said: “On March 12, our non-emergency patient transport service undertook a routine home transfer from County Hospital, Pontypool, which regrettably saw a patient discharged to the wrong address for a short period of time.

“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.”

The health board has been approached for comment.