UK: North patients hit by records loss

Adam Jupp reports:

[…]

We accessed details of all “serious, untoward” incidents at the North East Strategic Health Authority — SHA — since it was set up in 2006. The SHA oversees all heath services in the region, ranging from hospitals to GP surgeries and ambulance trusts.

Figures reveal that at least 175 patient records have gone missing between the date of the SHA being set up and October 2008.

That includes 32 files from the Northumberland Care Trust being “lost in transit”, relating to a CD containing the records being lost by Royal Mail.

The Gateshead Primary Care Trust lost a USB memory stick with 35 patient files on it in July 2008. And, in 2007, also in Gateshead, health visiting records — usually kept in a lockable filing cabinet — were found to be missing.

In another case, an at-risk baby and its foster parents were put in danger by a blunder as their address in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, was passed on to the infant’s violent dad by mistake . . . one of dozens of patient data errors uncovered.

In Newcastle, two password-protected laptops and a digital camera were stolen from the hospital trust in April 2008.

Read more in the Sunday Sun

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