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Page last updated at 07:34 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 08:34 UK

Criticism for mental care escapes

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A judge has highlighted concerns about security procedures at a psychiatric hospital after a child killer escaped and raped a teenager. Secure hospitals, like prisons, house many patients who have committed serious and violent crimes. The case highlights failures in a system which is backed up by an investigation carried out by reporter Nicola Stanbridge. The Today programme found that at least 94 patients escaped from medium and low secure psychiatric hospitals, or while under the escort of hospital staff last year. Louis Appleby, the national director for mental health, says officials are reviewing the appropriate placement of restricted patients at the unit.


Note: Earlier versions of this story reported that there had been 116 escapes rather than 94. Calderstones NHS Trust subsequently said it had misinterpreted the BBC's request for information and revised its response from 23 escapees to one person. The story has been amended to reflect this.

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