Hospital Cremated The Wrong Baby In ‘Mix Up’
More scandals uncovered from inside the NSW health system have increased pressure on embattled minister Jillian Skinner.
Already in the firing line over a baby gassing tragedy at the Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital and a chemotherapy crisis at St Vincent's Hospital, Ms Skinner's department admitted to more major bungles on Tuesday.
It was revealed during a budget estimates hearing that the bodies of two babies, one that was miscarried and one stillborn, were confused at the Royal North Shore Hospital in late 2015.
Both of the babies were cremated after the identity mix-up, despite the family of one child requesting a burial.
"There was a blanket on one of them with the label that led the staff to believe it was the other baby," Susan Pearce from NSW Health told the hearing.
The Royal North Shore Hospital said they had apologised to the families and offered counselling.
"A full investigation was undertaken and the families were fully informed of its outcome," it said in a statement.
"A number of measures have since been put in place to avoid a similar mistake being repeated in the future."
In another incident from April this year, a woman visiting Royal North Shore Hospital discovered someone else's identification tags were on her 89-year-old mother's body in a mortuary bag.
Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant labelled the incident a "near miss of a catastrophic outcome".
"I'm devastated for them and I'm really sorry that such an incident occurred," Ms Skinner said.
"We'd like to think that it didn't ever happen, but mistakes do happen, and in the event that they do we extend our most sincere apologies."
Premier Mike Baird stood by his health minister.
"Jillian Skinner continues to do a good job in very difficult circumstances," he told reporters.
AAP; Photo: AAP