Police hunt runaway patient

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POLICE hunting a hospital patient who went missing after being prepared for surgery said yesterday they were increasingly worried for his safety.

Nick Newman, 41, of Cranbrook, Kent, was thought to have left Maidstone Hospital after suffering a panic attack. A woman who saw him said blood transfusion tubes were still attached to his arm. He later visited a friend and was said to be confused. While the man telephoned for help, Mr Newman returned to his car and drove off.

A police spokesman said: 'This man needs immediate medical help and is quite obviously disturbed. I would urge him to contact the police as soon as possible.'