A HORRIFIED family who were wrongly told their mother had died after she was moved to a different ward have received an official apology from the hospital.
But over the last week Alice Roberts has suffered two heart attacks and is now very ill.
Alice, of Dowry Street, Accrington, was admitted to the Royal Blackburn Hospital after a fall at her home on New Year’s Day.
Her family stayed with her through her initial treatment late into the night and then saw her placed on an observation ward.
When devoted daughter-in-law Sonia phoned the following morning to check on her condition she was told by a nurse that she had died.
Distraught Sonia had to tell her husband Geoffrey before they began informing relatives and making arrangements for the funeral.
But Sonia then remembered that a nurse had told her Alice would only be on the observation ward for a number of hours before transferring to a treatment ward.
And it was only when Sonia contacted the other ward that the mistake was noticed.
Sonia said: "When I phoned the new ward they realised the mistake straight away. They were very angry that the observation ward had told me such awful news.
"The worst thing about this whole mess is that the problem was not rectified immediately. Mum’s social worker phoned the next day and was twice told she was dead. It’s disgusting really."
She added: "I received a phone call earlier this week from Jean Prescott, the manager for patient services at the hospital, who offered me her apologies. She said that my mother-in-law was mixed up with another lady who had died and that another family had also been given the wrong news.
"This has obviously upset the other family who were given hope when there was none and that is awful. I don’t wish for anyone to lose their job over this but it should not just be swept under the carpet either. It was a terrible thing to happen."