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 Friday, 10 July, 1998, 20:04 GMT 21:04 UK
Wrong parents given dead baby
Edinburgh Royal Infirmary
Hospital authorities have launched an urgent investigation
Hospital bosses have pledged to tighten up procedures after a mix-up led to a Scots couple's dead child being given to another family for burial.

Pamela Neill recently gave birth to premature twins in Edinburgh's Simpson Maternity Pavilion Hospital. One of the babies, Andrew, was stillborn and brother Allister died one week later.

It was only when Allister's body was taken to the morgue that it was discovered Andrew's corpse had been given to another grieving couple whose own child had also been stillborn on the day Andrew died.

Now Ms Neill and her partner Stewart Swan, of Blackburn, West Lothian, face the prospect of having little Andrew's body exhumed so he can be re-buried with his twin.

'Angry and totally numb'

The couple were reported to be "angry and totally numb" at the mix-up.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh NHS Trust - which includes the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion - said the staff were carrying out an urgent investigation into the "very unusual circumstances" surrounding the incident.

She added: "The Trust has always had complete confidence in the procedures it has had in place but this incident has brought to light deficiencies in the service.

"Appropriate measures will be taken to ensure that all procedures in place are of the highest standard to ensure that all patients and relatives can have complete confidence in our service. The Trust deeply regrets the distress caused to the family."

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09 Jul 98 | Health
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