A farmer was left “horrified” when personal and intimate details of a potentially fatal pregnancy complication for another woman were dropped through her letterbox.
Kay Ashton, 54, said she was “completely bewildered” as to how confidential patient notes from Derriford Hospital’s accident and emergency department, which were meant for a doctor, were sent to her address by mistake.
Mrs Ashton, who lives in Bideford, tore open the envelope in a pile of 11 days’ worth of mail that arrived on Friday, when postmen were finally able to access the small farm, as the big chill thawed.
She was shocked to find patient notes including the name, age and address of a young Cornish woman who was thought to be suffering from traumatic pregnancy complications, which could prove fatal if left untreated.
A spokesman for Derriford Hospital said as soon as it was alerted to the breach, the patient was contacted and the hospital apologised. The letter was delivered in a window envelope, and addressed to a doctor, but at Mrs Ashton’s address, where she has lived for 20 years.
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