A mum was left distraught after blundering hospital staff registered her newborn baby – to her sister.
Zara Dadd, 26, and her partner Simon Branchett, 28, were delighted when their 6lb 6oz son Riley was born last Tuesday.
But when the pair returned to hospital the next day to sort out registration details, they discovered they were unable to get Riley’s birth certificate – because he was registered to Zara’s twin sister Charlene.
The mum and dad, who already have an 18-month-old daughter Amelia, were also told that if Riley becomes unwell, the hospital will have no record of him, because throughout her pregnancy, staff kept putting Zara’s results under Charlene’s name.
Simon said: “They sat us down and said unfortunately there has been a massive mix-up and they had registered the baby to my partner’s sister.
“Now there’s no real record of his birth and they’ve told us it’s going to take weeks to rectify the problem.
“The person who is supposed to be fixing it is on holiday now and we can’t even get a birth certificate for our son because of their huge error.
“To be fair to them, the staff couldn’t apologise enough, but we want to get this sorted.”
Zara added: “It definitely puts me off giving birth there again, it’ll be a home birth next time.”
The couple, who have complained to William Harvey Hospital, in Ashford, Kent, say they are angry with hospital staff for the blunder.
Simon, of Ashford, said: “Mistakes like this shouldn’t happen. It’s scary really – this is how kids get swapped at birth.
“All we could think was ‘what if we have the wrong baby?’ My partner has been worried sick.
“We are angry. It’s such a stupid mistake and it has caused a huge problem.
“They need to be making sure that they’re checking these records right. It’s scary to know that these mistakes can be made and go unnoticed for so long.
“We want to see what the hospital are going to do to make this right and what steps they’ll take to not make it happen again.”
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust claim they have apologised to the family but said it was a simple mistake to make.
A spokesperson said: “We are contacting the family to apologise for this administrative error on one of our internal systems and explain that it was corrected on our system the day after the baby was born.
“The error involved one digit input wrongly into the maternity unit number on our system.
“We have several systems to identify babies with their mothers; for example, we place a wristband on the baby at birth to link the baby to his or her mother, as well as entering details onto a separate computer system which contains information about our patients such as name, age, address and date of birth.
“Recording information correctly is extremely important in the care we provide.
“This issue was due to human error and are looking into how it happened, and actions to take to ensure our processes are robust.”