Grieving daughter Liz Page kissed goodbye to ‘wrong body’ after Dorset hospital mix-up

Liz Page was later told her mother was actually still alive

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A grieving daughter gave her dead mother a last goodbye kiss before being told by hospital staff that she was still alive and they had given her the wrong body. 

Dorset County Hospital has apologised for the mix-up and said the incident was fully investigated last year.

The hospital, in Dorchester, called Liz Page to tell her that her mother, Phyllis Lilley, 94, had died during the night.

Mrs Page, 61, told the BBC she was shown a lady in a cubicle who looked like her mother.

“I just said simply ‘goodbye’ and kissed her forehead,” she said.

She told The Sun: “I know it sounds ridiculous that we didn’t realise it was the wrong body. When you’re told your mum has died and you’re shown into a room, it just doesn’t enter your mind that it won’t be her.”

Mrs Page and her husband began to make funeral arrangements after arriving home from the hospital. But staff rang later that day to inform them of the mix-up.

Mrs Page was told her mother was still alive and another woman with a similar name had died.

“Nobody should receive news that someone has died, be shown the wrong body in a state of grief and then find out they’re still alive,” she told the BBC, adding that she hoped sharing her story prevented further mix-ups.

Mrs Page reported the incident in March 2014. In a statement, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “A full investigation was conducted at the time into the events which led to this unacceptable situation."

A spokesman said Mrs Page received a “full explanation and apology from the Chief Executive”.

“The Trust has changed its procedures following this incident. We are extremely sorry for the distress caused to Mrs Page and her family. The staff involved were also very upset by what happened and lessons have been learnt to prevent this from happening again. Nothing of this nature has happened since this incident 18 months ago,” said the spokesman.

Mrs Page’s mother is now in a care home and remains unaware of the mix-up.