Hospital patients go missing
More than 250 patients went missing from hospitals in Tayside in the last three years, figures released through Freedom of Information (FoI) legislation suggest.
Asked how many patients had been absent in the period, NHS Tayside said 262 “incidents of patients missing” had been recorded on their Incident Reporting System. All were said to have been found “in the same period”.
The health board’s response to other questions about patients going missing also revealed 10 children aged under 16 were reported missing in the same period, although it added they were all found on the same day they were reported missing.
Asked how many fatalities had occurred as a result of patients going missing NHS Tayside answered there had been fewer than five but refused to give further details saying this could lead to the identification of individuals.
Explaining their response to the questions a spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said: “NHS Tayside takes its duty of care to patients very seriously and has a policy in place which has procedures for staff to follow in the case of a missing patient.
“This policy was developed in partnership with Police Scotland.
“The data collected within NHS Tayside does not separate the categories of “absent” and “missing”.
“A person may be absent for various reasons, including a late return from a visit home or an appointment, but that episode would be included within the data in the missing persons category.”