Woman left shocked after visiting a hospital for a scan only to be told that she's 'dead'

Saturday, May 4, 2024 - A woman was left shocked when she turned up to a hospital scan only to be told by staff that her records showed that she was already ‘dead.’

Susan Johnson from Scarborough was left 'shaking by a leaf' after staff at the Bridlington Hospital in Yorkshire told her their records showed she'd been dead for four months.

The incident left Susan, 62, a retired housekeeper, baffled that her husband Bob needed to bring her a strong coffee to help calm her nerves.

The mother-of-two told BBC News: 'I gave them my letter and their first words were, "ooh you're dead".

'I said, "pardon?". I was in shock.

'Then they put something on the computer so I could have the scan and then they just said, "bye" and that's it.'

It is unclear how the mistake happened as when Susan contacted her GP, they told her that the mistake had been fixed.

However, when she contacted the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the call handler told her she was still marked as already dead on the system.

'On the computer you're dead,' she was told. Susan then informed her she couldn't be dead as she was on the phone and talking.

The error meant that Susan's carer's allowance for looking after her disabled husband Bob briefly stopped, though this has now been fixed.

She said she shut down completely after the news and said there was nobody to talk to about the mistake.

Scarborough Medical Group told the BBC they'd received an electronic instruction about the 'death' from Primary Care Support England (PCSE).

Susan is concentrating on her hobbies of gardening and knitting as she recovers from the shock.

An NHS spokesperson said: 'We are aware of an issue involving a civil death registration being incorrectly recorded against a patient’s medical record.

'This was removed within 24 hours of it being reported to us in March 2023 and the patient was re-registered by their GP.

'We would encourage the patient to contact us directly so we can explain further.' 

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