Grandmother died without her family after hospital called wrong number five timesAvirl and husband Thomas. Pic: SWNS


The devastated family of a grandmother who died without her loved ones at her side because of a hospital's error have spoken of their grief.

Avril Chadwick died alone after a nurse wrote the wrong contact details on her file and another patient's daughter was phoned to say she was dying.

Astonishingly, the wrong woman was called FIVE times, despite repeatedly explaining she was not the correct contact.

In a further heartbreaking twist, when Avril's daughter Jodie phoned University Hospital, Coventry to see when she could visit her mum, she was told not to come in – no reason was cited, but more than four hours later she was called and told her mother had died.

The Daily Mail reports that the heartbroken family are now considering suing University Hospital in Coventry, and say they are 'disgusted' by the events.

"At the time they told us they couldn't find mum's notes and that's why they couldn't get hold of us," Jodie Chadwick said. "Then a few weeks later we had a meeting and that's when they told us they had called the wrong family.

"If they had called us in the morning we would have had the chance to say goodbye. We had been up there the whole time because of how ill she was but she died on her own, probably scared."

Avril Chadwick was 57 and suffering from chronic respiratory problems. She was admitted to the hospital in a critical condition in February 2011. She went on to develop pneumonia and was moved from a short-stay unit to a cardiology and respiratory ward.

Jodie says she was aware her mother had a 'do not resuscitate' note in her file, but assumed the family would be consulted before this was acted on.

On March 1 Mrs Chadwick was nearing the end of her life, and a nurse telephoned another patient's daughter, Linda Allen, who was mistakenly listed on Mrs Chadwick's file as her next-of-kin.

Mrs Allen arrived at the hospital to find her own mother well. After further calls from the hospital, the Daily Mail says Mrs Allen struggled to make the nurse take on board the fact that she was with her mother and that she was OK.

"I kept telling them mum was fine but she was very rude. What got me so worked up was the fact she kept phoning," she said.

As Mrs Chadwick was dying, her daughter and husband, Thomas, 62, a retired builder were at home just three miles away.

"I called at 9.58am to ask if I could visit my mum but I was just told no. The nurse didn't give a reason. She stunned me because she was so abrupt," said Miss Chadwick.

"Now the hospital has confirmed she actually died at 9.50am. The hospital called us just after 2pm and we were there by 2.20pm. My dad and six of us rushed there and then they told us in a little room she had already gone. My dad turned around and said 'That was four hours ago'."

The hospital admits it gave Avril's relatives the wrong time of death and says the the mix-up occurred when the two female patients were admitted to the same ward on the same day. The nurse who made the error will not face disciplinary action.

Mark Radford, the chief nursing officer for the hospital told the Telegraph that a 'very simple error' led to serious consequences for Mrs Chadwick's family.

"For this I am sorry. This should never have happened and I will do everything I can to ensure no other family suffers in the same way," he said.