The family of a 73-year-old woman from Banbury has voiced concern over the Horton General after she walked out of the hospital unnoticed by staff.
Yvonne Adams, who has terminal cancer and suffers from dementia, was admitted to the hospital’s accident and emergency department on Friday before being transferred to the Laburnum Ward.
But hospital staff called her husband Mick on Saturday morning to say she had walked out of the ward.
Fortunately, she was seen in Hightown Road by an off-duty nurse who persuaded her to go back to hospital.
Mr Adams, 73, of Brinkburn Grove, said: “I could not believe what they were telling me when. I was absolutely gobsmacked.
“I was told she was walking down Hightown Road towards Morrisons, so I presume she was trying to get home.
“I have been back up to the hospital about three times and I still haven’t had an apology.”
Mr Adams and his son Gary attended a meeting with staff at the hospital on Tuesday to discuss Mrs Adams’ medical needs, who still remains at the ward.
Gary said: “Who knows where my mum could have got to if the nurse had not been there to catch up with her.
“It has been really difficult for my dad dealing with this and having to look after her, so this was something we didn’t need.
“I think it is disgraceful.”
A spokesperson for the Oxford University Hospitals Trust said: “Within a few minutes ward staff noticed Mrs Adams’ absence and instigated a search of the ward and then alerted security to search the hospital site.
“The family were contacted very quickly by nursing and medical staff to advise them of the incident and apologise for any concerns it had caused.
“Patients are free to leave their beds and in the case of those identified as being confused, a number of initiatives are being introduced across the Trust to minimise patient disorientation and assist staff in delivering the best possible care.”