A FAMILY is livid after spending two hours wandering around the corridors of Wycombe Hospital in search of their ill aunt.

Lyn Skingley, 48, went to visit her 79-year-old aunt Joan Clarke, who was being treated for emphysema, but say they ended up on a wild goose chase looking for their lost relative because staff had no idea which ward she was in.

The two-hour ordeal was too much for Mrs Skingley's mum, June O'Mahoney, who was in such a state when they found Mrs Clarke, she had to go home.

Mrs Skingley, a mum-of-three who lives in Littleworth Road, Downley, knows her way around the hospital in Queen Victoria Road, because she is an administrator for the outpatient orthopaedic wing.

She said: "To say I was annoyed is an understatement.

"We went to the ward she was supposed to be on, only to be told she had been moved to Ward 6A.

"We duly went there only to find they had not heard of her, so they sent us back to MAUB who then said she was on 5A or 5B."

After two hours Mrs Skingley, her mum and cousin Anita Hayne finally located Mrs Clarke in the MAUA ward.

Mrs Skingley said: "My mother has a heart condition. She was worried about where my aunt was.

"What worries me is that anyone who doesn't know who to go to or where to look could get really upset.

"I know that the majority of staff at the hospital really care about their patients, but on that day it seemed that no one wanted to accept responsibility for what happened to my aunt."

Fortunately Mrs Clarke, who is now out of hospital and back at her home in The Pastures, Downley, was able to see the funny side.

She said: "I thought it was hilarious.

"I did not wonder where they were.

"I was just waiting for them and I thought oh dear, they must have got held up somewhere'.

"When they came into the ward I said where have you been?' and they said where have you'?

"But you can understand why my sister was worried to death."

Jon Fisher, a spokesman for Wycombe Hospital, said: "The patient was admitted to the Medical Admissions Unit B, which serves as a short stay' assessment and observation area.

"The patient was subsequently moved to the neighbouring MAUA, but an error in recording this information was made and Ward 6A was logged instead. The patient's relatives were then directed to this ward as the computer system showed her at this location.

"At no time was the patient's care compromised by this.

"The family met with senior nursing staff at the time of their visit, and we would like to take this opportunity to express our apologies for the distress caused.

"We shall be looking at the computer system to see if there is a clearer way of recording this kind of information."