A MOTHER has accused a hosptial of "appalling negligence" over the disappearance of her autistic son.

James Wilson, of Baddow Close, Woodford Green, went missing from Goodmayes Hospital, but was found four days later in Colchester, Essex.

His mother Lash Wilson said she arrived at the hospital on the morning of July 12 to be told that her son, who had been suffering anxiety attacks over his GCSE exams, had gone to a shop unsupervised.

She claims staff did not "seem to care" that her son had gone missing.

James' Oyster Card revealed he had boarded a Tube train at Redbridge station at 11am before getting off at Epping station. His mother endured five days of hell before her son was found by police.

It emerged that James had walked from Chelmsford to Colchester, a distance of 24 miles, and his mother said she feared he had died of hunger or hypothermia.

Ms Wilson has joined forces with the UK Autism Foundation to call on the secretary of state for health, Alan Johnson, to launch an immediate inquiry into the circumstances that led to James' disappearance.

Ivan Corea, head of the charity, said: "We are appalled by what took place, by the grace of God James is alive.

"We are now calling on the Government to tighten up all procedures and guidelines where children and young people people who are in the care of hospitals, residential centres, schools and other institutions to hold staff accountable - the Government must protect the vulnerable.

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder - over 500,000 people in the UK are on the autism spectrum, over 90,000 children have autism. Accordimg to UK researchers, one in 100 children are on the autism spectrum.