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Mother informed of son’s death – as he sat next door

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has come under fire in the press for sending a 67 year mother a letter saying her son wad dead – despite the fact that he was alive and well sitting in the room next door. The mistake came after her 43 year old son, Chris Plummer, had his gall bladder removed at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham.


The letter, which was sent to their family home where he has been recovering since being discharged in early September, read: “We would like to offer our sincere condolences following the death of your son Christopher. We realise this must be a time of great sadness.”

[quote top=Mrs Plummer commented:]When I received the letter Christopher had just got up and said good morning to me. It was all rather strange. I walked through to the next room and said to him I was just checking he was still there.[/quote]

Her son, a former chef, saw the funny side, saying: "A lady who helps mum with the ironing was coming round and I said to her not to bring the kids unless they like ghosts. But I had to ring the hospital to make sure the appointment with my surgeon was still going ahead today.
"To be fair they did ring my mum back and apologise, but you have to question what would happen if this sort of letter went to someone while their family member was still in hospital. Especially if they were old, it could give them a heart attack."

[quote top=Hospital Trust spokesman Andrew Bennett said:]Regrettably, a letter of condolence was sent to Mrs Plummer in error. We have spoken to the patient and family directly to offer our sincere apologies for any distress this has caused.[/quote]