HOSPITAL bosses in Southampton this afternoon said they alerted police about the disappearance of brain tumour patient Ashya King as soon as it “became a cause for concern”.

In a statement to the Daily Echo, the hospital described how clinical and security staff made the decision to call Hampshire police last night when the five-year-old boy failed to reappear on the ward with his parents.

They refused to be drawn further on the matter, saying further enquiries should now be directed to police who are leading an international search for the seriously ill boy who has been taken to France by his parents.

The statement read: “Ashya has a serious condition that requires constant medical supervision and treatment. “Following his removal from hospital by his parents yesterday, clinical and security staff referred the incident to Hampshire police.

“We continue to work closely with them to support the search and investigation and have provided a comprehensive detailed medical report on Ashya to ensure any hospital he is taken to can provide the care he requires immediately.

“Ashya was a long term patient who was permitted to leave the ward under the supervision of his parents as part of his ongoing rehabilitation.

“When the length of time he had been absent became a cause of concern to staff yesterday afternoon they contacted police after a search of the site and attempts to contact the family were unsuccessful.”