Royal Liverpool University Hospital patient found dead in grounds
Police are investigating the death of an elderly man whose body was found in hospital grounds hours after he went missing from a ward.
The 80-year-old was reported missing at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital at around 19:30 GMT on Wednesday.
Following a search, his body was found outside at about 02:45 GMT.
A hospital trust spokesman said a "robust procedure for searching for patients" had been followed after the man was found to be missing.
A post-mortem examination is due to take place to establish the cause of his death.
The spokesman for the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust said that "within 30 minutes of the patient last being seen on the ward, a hospital-wide search was launched and, within the hour, the police were informed".
"Patients are free to leave the wards at their will and we have protocols for facilitating patients' movements to and from the wards," he said.
"We also have a robust procedure for searching for patients if they leave the ward unexpectedly and for reporting if they are missing, all of which were followed in this case."
He added that the trust's "sympathies and thoughts are with the patient's family at this time".
A police spokesman said: "The man's next of kin have been informed but he is yet to be formally identified."