UK: "No one to blame" for patient info leak

Tomasz Johnson reports in the Hendon Times:

Investigations into how confidential patient records were found in a Potters Bar road have failed to attribute blame for the security breach.

Details of serious illnesses and outpatient forms belonging to patients at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, Whipps Cross University Hospital and London Ambulance Service ended up strewn across the country lane in Coopers Lane, near Potters Bar, in January.

An investigation by Bywaters, who were contracted by Whipps Cross to handle disposal of waste including medical records, concluded that its procedures are “robust.”

A separate investigation by the London Ambulance Service failed to reveal any problems.

A spokeswoman for Whipps Cross said: “The trust is confident that its internal procedures for the disposal of confidential waste on-site are robust.

“The trust has received written assurance from both Bywaters and its sub-contractors that its confidential material will only be disposed of at the site the trust has visited and quality assured.”

Source – Hendon Times

Dissent comments:

The preceding is a follow-up to a story initially reported in January that the records had fallen off a lorry. Apparently, if the investigation is to be believed, no one did anything wrong. If that’s the case, then no changes are to be made, and what prevents this type of thing from happening again? One of the values of disclosure and investigation is to identify weaknesses that need to be addressed. Has anyone learned anything from this particular incident or should we expect to see more of the same involving this NHS trust in the future?

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