Family seek answers over missing heirloom necklace lost on hospital ward

David Dent

David Dent's St Christopher pendant has gone missing - Credit: Sarah Jane Mason

An Ipswich family are searching for answers after a necklace belonging to their father went missing during a stay at a unit run by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT). 

David Dent, 71, was staying at Woodlands in Ipswich, which is run by the NSFT, late last year because of problems related to his advanced dementia. 

When Mr Dent was admitted to the unit he was wearing a St Christopher pendant on a gold belcher chain.


David Dent

David Dent has always worn the necklace given to him by his wife 50 years ago - Credit: Sarah Jane Mason

The necklace had been made for him as a present for his 21st birthday and given to him by his wife. 

He'd worn it throughout his life and would never take it off. 

He was discharged from hospital into a care home, but when he arrived the necklace was missing as were many of his clothes. 

"Three quarters of his clothes were missing and he was wearing someone else's glasses," said Mr Dent's daughter Sarah Jane Mason. 

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"He couldn't even see."

As a result of lockdown the family were unable to see Mr Dent when he was in hospital but know from Facetime calls that he definitely did have it at some point during his stay there. 

David Dent

The family are looking for answers about what happened to Mr Dent's belongings - Credit: Sarah Jane Mason

Miss Mason has been trying to find out what has happened to his possessions and most importantly the necklace, a family heirloom intended for her son when he turned 21. 

So far no one has been able to locate the items of clothing or the necklace and Miss Mason has struggled to get a response from NSFT regarding its whereabouts. 

"It's just shocking the treatment my dad has experienced," said Miss Mason. 

"It should have been removed on admission."

Miss Mason is now appealing for anyone who knows anything about the necklace's whereabouts to come forward. 

"It's not worth a great deal of money," said Miss Mason. 

"It doesn't mean anything to anyone else."

Stuart Richardson, chief operating officer at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said that the trust was looking into the family's case.

“We’re very sorry for the loss of Mr Dent’s personal belongings and can appreciate how upsetting this has been for the family," said Mr Richardson.

"We are currently investigating their complaint.”

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