In little over a week, Chris Bown will start his £294,000 one-year stewardship of the troubled East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust. Mr Bown has said he wants to explore for himself the trust’s myriad problems before he speaks publicly — but it is unlikely he would have thought that vulnerable missing patients might have been on his lengthy list. But as the Herne Bay Gazette reveals today, this is exactly what happened to John Langridge from Herne Bay during his stay at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital in February. It is difficult not to have a.smidgen of sympathy with staff at the K&C, overworked and under-resourced as they are. Furthermore, hospitals are, after all, not prisons. And on the day there to appears to have been a number of other accidental factors which contrived to let this happen. However, the truth is that Mr Langridge found himself outside in just a T-shirt at the coldest time of the year. It is regrettable that it was almost an hour before he was found and returned to the ward, but at least he did not suffer any long-term harm. What happened to Mr Langridge wasn’t a disaster, but it was a kick up the backside to make sure nothing lile this ever happens again.
Herne Bay Gazette, March 12th 2015