Man is told his wife has died in hospital only for him to spot her asleep on ward
A man was told by a hospital nurse that his wife had died, only to turn up and find her asleep on the ward an hour later.
Frank Priddis, 63, was left grieving for his wife Sandra unnecessarily after nurses mixed up her details with another patient.
Mrs Priddis was at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital receiving treatment for bladder cancer when her family received the call from a nurse.
Mr Priddis, a bus driver from Exeter, Devon, said he had to wait an hour to find out that his wife was still alive.
He said: "The nurse told me that my wife had passed away approximately an hour previously.
"She asked if we could come over to the hospital to see the doctor who would explain exactly what had happened. We went straight to the Torridge Ward and reported to the nurse's station.
"We were acknowledged by another member of staff who asked if she could help. We explained that we had arrived to speak to the doctor as we were told that my wife had just passed away. She apologised and said she would get the nurse in charge.
"In the meantime, for some unknown reason, I just happened to turn and look through the window into the ward, where I saw my wife fast asleep in her bed.
"It turns out the nurse that had made the call had in fact picked up the wrong file and contacted the wrong family. I said 'if this is a joke, it is a sick one'."
Mr Priddis has attended several meeting with the hospital's Trust over the incident. He said they were promised that protocol was in place to ensure that paperwork and wristbands were double checked so that similar incidents could not happen again.
Mrs Priddis has since died and he decided not to go public with the mix-up at the time of the error in September 2016 as he did not want her to know anything about the error.
Em Wilkinson-Brice, chief nurse at the hospital Trust, said: "Our staff make every effort to deliver the highest standards of compassionate care and support to patients and their families.
"We are therefore really sorry for this lapse and for the upset and distress it has caused Mr Priddis and his family.
"We are very grateful for the time Mr Priddis spent with us discussing his complaint and for his constructive suggestions.
"We have taken these on board and as a result we have since changed our processes to minimise the risk of a patient being wrongly identified in this particular way again."