A patient has been found stone dead inside a hospital toilet some three days after he left the ward to smoke some cigarettes.
Jonathan Earp, a patient in a UK hospital has been found dead in the hospital toilet three days after leaving his ward to go for a cigarette.
According to a report by The Sun UK, Jonathan Earp, had been admitted to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital with suspected deep vein thrombosis and a blood clot on the lung.
At a pre-inquest hearing assistant coroner Caroline Saunders said Earp was known to leave the ward to have a cigarette.
The inquest was told how on July 7, he expressed a wish to discharge himself, and a medical assessment confirmed he had the mental capacity to make his own decisions.
However, he stayed in the ward, and later on that day left for a cigarette but did not return, the coroner said.
Police and site management were alerted, but he was not found until July 10 in a disabled toilet in the hospital, she said.
A postmortem found that a number of drugs were in his system, not all prescribed.
Further evidence about that is to be collected for an inquest to be concluded between next March and May, Mrs Saunders said.
She also told of the family’s concerns over the access Jonathan had to medication and his capacity to make decisions.
At earlier hearings the coroner has been told that Mr Earp had to be identified by his hospital bracelet and by his distinctive tattoos.
Gloucestershire Police have ruled out foul play but have referred themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission because they had received a call expressing concern for Mr Earp’s welfare after he disappeared on July 7.
The Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has also carried out its own internal investigation into why Mr Earp’s body was not found sooner.
Coroner’s officer Terry Onions said “At about 10.55pm on July 7, he told staff on his ward that he was going out for a cigarette. Sadly he did not return.
“Hospital staff raised the alarm and reported the matter to the police. At 8.30am on July 10 hospital staff found his body in a public disabled toilet near the entrance to the tower block.
“By way of history, he was suffering from drug dependency and had been on numerous medications including Subutex, Diazepam and Methadone, and other prescribed drugs, as well as patches.”
A full inquest into the tragedy is due next Spring.