A NORTH Yorkshire hospital has apologised to the family of a vulnerable patient who died after going missing.

Graham Roskell, 65, left Harrogate District Hospital, where he was receiving treatment, on November 3, 2012, and was missing for 11 days.

North Yorkshire Police carried out searches around the region for Mr Roskell, who had been suffering from a brain infection causing him to be very confused and scared.

The body of Mr Roskell, who was from Kirk Hammerton between York and Knaresborough, was found in a wooded area off York Road in Wetherby on November 14, 2012.

Yesterday, an inquest into Mr Roskell’s death heard he had previously tried to escape from the hospital, and was suffering from sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).

Coroner Rob Turnbull said there were failures in the hospital’s care of a vulnerable patient, and said there was neglect.

Dr David Scullion, medical director at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, offered apologies to Mr Roskell’s family following the inquest, and said lessons had been learned from his disappearance.

He said: “We would like to express our deepest condolences and sincere apologies to the family of Mr Roskell. We accept the findings of the coroner and acknowledge his conclusion.

“Our investigation into the death of Mr Roskell has led to a number of initiatives to improve the safety of patients, which we consider to be of paramount importance.

“We have already increased the number of nurses working on wards that care for elderly patients, where people who are confused are most likely to be accommodated, and addressed the security issues arising from this tragic incident.”

Mr Turnbull returned a narrative conclusion into Mr Roskell’s death.