Family not told missing Holloway man was in hospital bed

John McHugh

John McHugh - Credit: Archant

A family who spent two weeks scouring the streets for a much-loved missing relative were horrified to find he had spent 10 of the those days sitting in a hospital they had ­repeatedly called.

John McHugh, 72, who suffers from dementia, disappeared from his sheltered housing in Hilldrop Road, Holloway, on August 28 and his loved ones were becoming frantic with worry.

As well as Islington Police, Mr Mchugh’s niece Paula Harvey and her sister had missing persons organisations involved, bombarded social networking sites and were driving over from Essex every day to search themselves.


But as the time went on the began to fear the worst, only for John to turn up on Tuesday, having been in North Middlesex Hospital, Tottenham, for the past 10 days.

She said: “Obviously to start with we were just so glad to see him safe and sound, but when we found out how long he had been in the hospital we were ­really angry.

“We had called them several times to see if he had turned up and so I feel really sorry for ­slington Police because they have been wonderful, putting in so much time and effort, including calling the hospital – and he was there all the time.

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“Apparently they had his first name, so all it would have taken is one caring member of staff to go and check.

“It would have saved us all this heartache – but it seems like no one could be bothered.”

Originally from Ireland, Mr McHugh has lived in Finsbury Park and Holloway for the last 50 years.

Mrs Harvey said: “So many people know him in the area, but no one had seen him and we were getting so worried about him because he is a bit vulnerable.

“He never had any children, himself, but he was a fantastic uncle to all of us and we just wanted him back home safely.

“I wouldn’t want any family to have to go through what we went thorough, especially when it was so avoidable.”

A spokesman for North Middlesex Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Police brought a person only known as John into A&E and we established that he could not remember his name or his family, or where he lived.

“We moved him on to a ward and continued to keep in touch with the police who investigated that he might be a missing person. We took a photo of the patient and sent it around hospitals, and staff at one came back to say they were confident they recognised him.

“We are pleased this man has been reunited with his family and there has been a happy outcome.”