Absconding from mental hospitals is a topic worth investigating because absconding usually has a variety of adverse consequences, not only for the absconders but also for the public and so forth. From a medical perspective, there have been several studies of absconding by mental patients and the harm they cause to themselves and others while they are at large. However, there is a paucity of such studies from a purely legal perspective. This study aims to contribute to the literature from a legal perspective by focusing on the offender-patient who absconds from hospital. It is argued, inter alia, that given the various ramifications of absconding from hospital, it is unsatisfactory that some offender-patients (specifically those on a hospital order without restrictions; s37 of the Mental Health Act 1983) could only be retaken within 28 days when they abscond from hospital, whereas non-offender patients in hospital under s3 of the same Act could be retaken within six months at least. Recommendations for reform of the law are duly tendered.