UK: Confusion over patient data on lost hospital stick

It seemed like a straightforward breach disclosure, but apparently there’s still some confusion swirling around what happened with an East Sussex  Healthcare NHS Trust USB stick that was found by a member of the public. The Eastbourne Herald reports:

The husband of a woman whose confidential patient details were found on a memory stick which had been left outside a hospital, says he has been given conflicting information from the NHS Trust.

James Foster says his wife Patricia had received a letter from the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust on July 1 to say her information was among those found on a USB stick which had been discovered by a member of the public laying in a residential street close to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings on June 15.

The finder took it home, thinking it was someone’s treasured photographs which had been misplaced, but was shocked to find patients’ private records instead when she plugged the USB stick into her laptop.

The USB stick was quickly returned to the hospital and at the time the Trust said there was no reason to believe the information had been accessed, downloaded, kept or passed on.

 The subsequent confusion seems to stem from different people giving the Mr. Foster and his wife different versions of what actually happened to the USB stick after it was found.
And this, children, is why only one person or department should deal with public inquiries and everyone else should just refer callers to that one individual or department.



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