Police end inquiry into death of patient

A CRIMINAL investigation into the death of an elderly patient at a Yorkshire hospital has been wound up, police confirmed yesterday.

North Yorkshire Police officers had launched the inquiry following the death of 76-year-old George Paton earlier this month while he was an in-patient at Harrogate District Hospital.

A spokeswoman for the North Yorkshire force confirmed yesterday that officers were not pursuing a criminal investigation after they were called in by the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust to investigate the death.

The decision was reached after an initial review was carried out into the circumstances surrounding Mr Paton's death, along with consultations with the Crown Prosecution Service.

Police officers are, however, continuing to prepare a file for an inquest, and staff at Harrogate District Hospital are helping with the inquiries. The hospital will also conduct an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr Paton's death.

The pensioner, who was from Burnside Walk in Harrogate, is understood to have been a terminally-ill cancer patient who was being treated at a ward in the hospital before his death on January 8. An inquest on Mr Paton was opened yesterday and adjourned until a later date.