Eccleshill family's fury after dementia sufferer, 80, walked off secure hospital ward (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Eccleshill family's fury after dementia sufferer, 80, walked off secure hospital ward
Hospital chiefs have apologised after an elderly patient with dementia was able to slip away unnoticed from a locked ward at Bradford Royal Infirmary to make her way alone across the city.
Margaret Taylor, 80, an inpatient on ward 11, was found hours later by her family in a confused and distressed state at her house in Eccleshill after hospital staff raised the alarm.
Mrs Taylor has no recollection how she made the journey home which would have involved her taking two buses, say her family, who have lodged a formal complaint with hospital trust bosses.
Susan Taylor told the Telegraph & Argus yesterday she had explained to nurses that her mother-in-law needed watching closely as she was very confused and being assessed for Alzheimer’s disease when she was admitted for a bowel procedure.
Despite the warning, she said the pensioner was able to walk out of the ward and go missing for almost three hours.
“I got a call to say they had lost my mother-in-law. It was raining, she had no coat and she is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease,” said Susan Taylor, of Stonecroft, Eccleshill.
“She had been missing between two to three hours. I have a key to her house and I went round to see if she had returned home and she was there in a distressed state with no recollection of how she got home.
“She was so confused.”
Susan Taylor and her husband John returned her to hospital, only for her false teeth to go missing the next day. The hospital has now agreed to pay the £400 it will cost for new false teeth.
She added: “They have apologised but it should not have happened. It has caused a lot of stress and confusion for her. It needs sorting out so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“The nurses should have kept an eye on her. She would have had to catch two buses home – we just don’t know how she did it.
“Then to lose her teeth is beyond a joke. She can’t eat without them and the hospital have no idea where they could have gone.
“I just cried walking down the ward – they said sorry but it isn’t good enough.”
A Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesman confirmed that Mrs Taylor had been reported missing from BRI last Wednesday which activated a security alert.
He said: “Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust takes the welfare of its patients very seriously.
“Once we established that Mrs Taylor had left the locked ward during visiting hours we immediately put into place our ‘missing patient procedure’ where we notified the patient’s family, hospital managers and our security team who undertook a full-scale search of our grounds and buildings.
“We have spoken to Mrs Taylor’s next-of-kin and apologised to them for this incident and the loss of Mrs Taylor’s false teeth which we will reimburse fully.”