UK: Dorset HealthCare Trust send confidential health faxes by mistake

Joanna Codd reports:

Highly confidential faxes about people with mental health problems have been mistakenly sent to a Bournemouth business over a period of 18 months.

Despite the business alerting officials to the problem, the documents have continued to arrive at the offices of Cole Valuations in Exeter Road at the rate of two or three a month.

It is the second serious breach of patient confidentiality to involve Dorset HealthCare Trust in the last few weeks. At the end of November, the Echo revealed that the trust had sent details of a man’s mental health problems, including suicide attempts and self-harm, to a stranger.


Although the company has destroyed most of the faxes, which have come from both Dorset HealthCare Trust and the Borough of Poole, the Daily Echo has seen the latest two, both intended for Purbeck Community Mental Health Team.

The team has the same fax number as Cole Valuations, but with a different area code.

One of the faxes, from the health trust’s Wimborne Community Mental Health Team at Jessopp House, Mill Lane, includes full details of a man referred to mental health services, with the information that he is due to appear in court following allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour towards a 15-year-old.


Other faxes from St Ann’s Hospital have contained information about patients self-harming and childhood abuse.

Read more on Daily Echo.

If the ICO doesn’t fine this trust for this outrageous situation, I’ll want to know why.

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