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Investigation launched after elderly woman leaves care home

Woman in her nineties with severe dementia found wandering down busy road

Dan Cooper

Reporter:

Dan Cooper

Email:

dan.cooper@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886632

police

AN investigation has been launched after an elderly woman with severe dementia managed to leave a Thatcham care homeand wander down a busy road.

At around 6.30am on Sunday morning, the vulnerable woman, in her 90s, left the  West Berkshire Council-managed Walnut Close Care Home, situated yards from the A4.

Police had to be called and they eventually managed to help the woman back to the home.

One witness, who didn’t want to be named, said: “She made her way over to the Memorial Ground, where a car boot sale was about to take place. If it was not for one of the car boot sale staff taking care of this vulnerable lady I don’t know how the situation would have panned out.”

The witness added: “To make matters worse, some of the care home staff followed the lady to the edge of Brownsfield Road and then turned back around and left her.

“After 15 minutes, one of the staff from the car boot sale went over to find out what was going on, as nobody from the care home came to get the lady.

“One of the care home staff eventually called the police and three police cars arrived to deal with the incident.

“This dragged on for well over an hour and I think the only reason the lady did not get in real danger was because of the kind actions and experience of the lady from the car boot sale, who went out of her way to make sure she was looked after.”

A statement from Walnut Close Care Home said: “On Sunday morning a resident at Walnut Close care home managed to leave the premises.

“She was followed by two members of staff who tried to convince her to return home. They were unable to persuade her to do so and then, in line with our policy, called the police for their assistance.

“We take very seriously our responsibility to the vulnerable people we are supporting in our care homes.

“It’s not immediately clear to us the exact course of action taken by staff on the day and we’ve begun an investigation to fully explore what has happened in this case.”

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