Missing pensioner found in care home grounds

Anne Cunningham's disappearance sparked a massive police search. Picture: contributed
Anne Cunningham's disappearance sparked a massive police search. Picture: contributed
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A MISSING pensioner who sparked a major police hunt involving sniffer dogs and a helicopter has been found within the grounds of the ­nursing home from which she vanished.

Anne Cunningham, 75, who suffers from dementia, had not been wearing an overcoat when she disappeared from Drummond Grange Nursing Home at 8pm on Thursday.

It sparked fears the pensioner had been braving sub zero temperatures while ­inappropriately dressed for the outdoors.

Police immediately mounted a search for the pensioner, who was deemed “high risk” due to having dementia.

She was also described as relatively mobile for her age but could become “very ­confused”.

Overnight on Thursday officers, dog handlers and helicopters scoured the area around Drummond Grange nursing home in Lasswade, Midlothian.

Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue were also dispatched to search for the missing resident.

But yesterday morning Ms Cunningham was found within the grounds of the nursing home, which cares for the ­elderly, young people with ­disabilities and those suffering from long-term illnesses such as multiple sclerosis.

A spokeswoman for Drummond Grange confirmed Ms Cunningham had been found.

She said: “Drummond Grange can confirm that a missing resident has been found and is currently being looked after by the team at the home and the medical services.

“We would like to thank everyone involved in the search. Drummond Grange respects the privacy of its residents and staff in all matters and is ­therefore unable to give any further comment.”

A police spokesman said Ms Cunningham had been found in the nursing home grounds at 11.15am, adding: “She was found safe and unharmed.

“Police would like to thank those who participated in the search.”

It is still not known how the pensioner went missing.

The spokeswoman for the care facility confirmed there are magnetic locks on the lifts of the home which also require a code for access. There is also a staffed reception.

Drummond Grange Care Home boasts “first-class 24-hour care” for older people and says its team is trained to give the “highest standard of care” for those with dementia.

It also offers life support ventilation, physiotherapy and enteral feeding as well as physical and psychological assistance with day-to day-life or pastimes.

An inspection by the Care Inspectorate last April rated the the home “adequate”. This was an improvement on the facility’s previous rating of “unsatisfactory” in December 2013. In 2011, two nurses gave a patient at Drummond Grange ten times the prescribed ­dosage of insulin giving rise to a ­seizure so severe it was feared he might die.

And in the same year another nurse narrowly avoided being struck off after leaving a severely disabled patient lying half-naked and in danger of choking while she wrote up case notes.