Confidential patient details posted online by NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald

Confidential patient information has been inadvertently posted on a website in an NHS blunder.

Patients’ names, dates of birth, NHS numbers and treatment and procedures were inadvertently included in an electronic spreadsheet file which formed part of a response to a Freedom of Information request sent out in May last year. The information was later uploaded on to an NHS website in November last year.

This week health chiefs have apologised for the blunder and sent out letters to those whose details have been released. A spokesperson for the NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald said, “We can confirm we have been investigating a breach of confidential patient information and would like to offer our apologies to those people who are affected.”

The original Freedom of Information request was for the number of people under 21 who had undergone cosmetic surgery on the NHS from 2006 to 2009 for which NHS funding was being requested. The information was sent to the requester and published on the NHS website. But confidential information on a number of other patients was inadvertently located in a concealed page within the spreadsheet which formed part of the response. The blunder was spotted by an NHS employee and in recent weeks letters have been sent to the patients concerned from the NHS apologising.

Read more in the Eastbourne Herald.

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