Missing man hospital probe
8:55am Tuesday 5th March 2013 in Local
MYSTERY still surrounds how a 90-year-old patient, who went missing from the Royal Bolton Hospital, ended up in Bristol, 175 miles away.
Police discovered Jonathan Hastilow-Sands in Bristol — 11 hours after staff at the Royal Bolton Hospital reported him missing.
The hospital is now conducting an inquiry into how the elderly man, who had been an in-patient for several days, had managed to leave the hospital unnoticed.
Bosses have promised to “take any action necessary” following the incident.
Police were contacted at 10am on Saturday after staff at the hospital noticed Mr Hastilow-Sands was missing.
They spent hours searching the hospital and surrounding areas and drafted in Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, who were put on stand-by to help. But at 9pm, officers from Avon and Somerset police contacted Greater Manchester Police to say they had found Mr Hastilow-Sands at Bristol Royal Infirmary.
Mr Hastilow-Sands, of Newgate Drive, Little Hulton, had been taken to the hospital after he fell and injured himself at a bus stop in Bath. Once he was at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, staff discovered he was a missing person.
Yesterday Heather Edwards, head of communications at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said the trust would be holding an inquiry and taking “any action necessary”.
She said: “Clearly we have been worried about this patient and are pleased that he has been found. We are making arrangements for him to be returned to Bolton.”
Mrs Edwards said Mr Hastilow-Sands did not have a “diagnosis of Alzheimers” and was “free to leave hospital if he wished”.
But officers from Greater Manchester Police said Mr Hastilow-Sands did suffer from Alzheimer’s and that his family had grown concerned for him.
Alzheimer’s and dementia are often undiagnosed and diagnosis can involve months of observation.
In Bolton there are thought to be 3,026 people with dementia, but only 1,778 of these, 58.8 per cent, have been diagnosed.
Mr Hastilow-Sands’ neighbours described him as an “independent” man who “kept himself to himself”.