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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.