A family this week held a second funeral service for a loved one after a mix-up at the hospital saw the wrong person cremated. 

The blunder took place at the morgue at The Grange University Hospital when the wrong body was given to the family, and was then cremated at Sirhowy Valley Crematorium.

The chief executive of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board has apologised to the family for the shocking mistake. 

The health board is investigating the matter internally and our sister title the South Wales Argus understands the family are extremely distressed by the incident.

They initially held a service for their loved one around three weeks ago - and then faced the ordeal of holding a second service this week after the error came to light.

The decision has been made not to name the deceased at this stage.

Nicola Prygodzicz, chief executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said: “We are utterly heartbroken about what has happened to the family and we take responsibility for this isolated incident.

"Words cannot express how sorry we are. We have met with the family to fully inform them about this situation and to offer them as much support as they need."

Western Telegraph: Nicola Prygodzicz, chief executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health BoardNicola Prygodzicz, chief executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (Image: Aneurin Bevan)

Ms Prygodzicz said that the mistake was an isolated incident and it was the health board who first realised what had happened. 

“We would also like to reassure the public that this is an exceptional case," she said. 

"We identified this mistake through our own processes and after an initial review we are confident that this is down to an isolated human error.

"However, we are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident and we will keep family members fully updated throughout our investigation.

“No words we can say, or actions we can take, can put this right. We are deeply sorry, and our thoughts and full support remain with the family.”

She added that the person who was initially cremated is not believed to have surviving family.

“To the current knowledge of the health board, there are no known family of the other patient,” she said.

When asked for a statement, a spokesperson for the crematorium, which is part of Westerleigh Group, said: “We pride ourselves on providing exceptional care and support to all families we serve and as such we treat their right to privacy incredibly seriously.

"We do not have permission to provide any comments without the consent of families."