Feeds

Hospital data boob: Records left in bin room got binned

10,000 patients' records destroyed in NHS blunder

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Bungling hospital staff accidentally destroyed patient data after a worker put 10,000 records in the wrong room, an investigation by the Information Commissioner's Office [ICO] revealed today.

The lost records were boxed up and put in a ward waste disposal room because there wasn't enough space in the proper storage room, the ICO probe found. It is believed that the records were then accidentally removed and destroyed between the 28 and 31 December 2010.

Darent Valley Hospital, in Dartford, Kent, failed to clock that the information was missing for three months.

It's unknown exactly how much personal information was in the 10,000 records but it is believed that they contained the addresses and contact details of some staff and former patients and a limited amount of medical information relating to the patients’ previous treatment. The majority of the records are believed to be several years old.

The Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust has told the ICO that the loss of these records does not pose a clinical risk to the people affected.

Acting Head of Enforcement at the ICO, Sally Anne Poole, said: “Although the majority of information lost was several years old and only being kept for archiving purposes, there is no excuse for failing to keep it secure. The hospital should have ensured that the records were kept in a safe area.”

The ICO ruled that the trust had breached the Data Protection Act by accidentally destroying the archived records and has ordered it to take action to ensure that staff are aware of data protection policies.

Maybe they should get a bigger storage room, too. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.