This week 30 years ago: Missing patient lay dead for three weeks in Hackney Hospital’s grounds
PUBLISHED: 17:17 05 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:17 05 February 2020
A patient lay dead for three weeks in the grounds of Hackney Hospital, despite intensive searches by nursing and security staff, this week 30 years ago.
Health chiefs demanded a probe into how they had failed to discover the body of 91-year-old Arthur Szczenslive, a long-term mental patient at the psychiatric hospital in Homerton High Street who suffered from senile dementia.
You may also want to watch:
His corpse was eventually found by a works officer lying in an outbuilding near Kenworthy Road.
An inquest revealed he had died of a heart attack, complicated by kidney failure.
The day he disappeared staff searched hospital buildings and grounds without success. A further two searches were carried out. Wards for elderly mentally ill patients were not locked, but were fitted with two-handled "confusion doors", which were designed to make it difficult for patients to leave without help.
All staff were "deeply shocked", said the hospital's manager.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.