85-year-old Addenbrooke's patient left out in freezing temperatures

PUBLISHED: 13:28 01 March 2007 | UPDATED: 13:51 04 May 2010

THE family of an Isleham great-grandfather are furious after the 85-year-old faced sub-zero temperatures after being locked out of his hospital room overnight. William Garner prompted a police hunt after he fell through a fire exit on his ward at Addenbr

THE family of an Isleham great-grandfather are furious after the 85-year-old faced sub-zero temperatures after being locked out of his hospital room overnight.

William Garner prompted a police hunt after he fell through a fire exit on his ward at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.

The door locked behind him and the bewildered pensioner wandered off into the night on February 7.

Mr Garner banged on windows at the hospital in a bid to attract the attention of the people inside; he was not seen, however, and tried to flag down motorists at the roadside.

Thankfully, he was picked up at 5am by a van driver at a petrol station in Great Shelford - more than a mile away. The driver returned him to the accident and emergency department at Addenbrooke's.

Now his daughter, Linda Palmer, of Lakenheath, has lodged a formal complaint against the hospital.

"The temperature outside was below freezing and we know he was outside for at least two-and-a-half hours.

"At his age it was a very traumatic experience, and he is trying to put it behind him."

She paid tribute to the van driver.

"He needn't have bothered but he did and he probably saved my father's life," she said.

A spokesman for Addenbrooke's said: "We have already met with Mr Garner and his family to discuss their concerns.

"We are in the process of investigating their complaint and hope to be in a position to respond to their issues shortly.

"We take the security of our patients very seriously and will carry out any necessary actions following the outcome of our investigation.

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