Feeds

Welsh NHS fined £70k for patient psych file leak blunder

Email address typo leads to ICO spank first

The essential guide to IT transformation

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has slapped its first fine on the NHS after a mental health patient's file was leaked in an email gaffe.

The ICO handed the Aneurin Bevan Health Board in Wales a bill for £70,000 for sending the sensitive information to the wrong person.

A consultant from the NHS organisation emailed a letter containing a detailed psychological report of a patient to a secretary for formatting. But the doctor used two different spellings for the patient's name, which resulted in the file being sent to the wrong person who had the name with the different spelling.

The ICO, which gained powers to hand out stiff fines about 18 months ago, doesn't always resort to what it calls civil monetary penalties when it's told or finds out about a breach of data protection law - but it fines bodies when it thinks that the right precautions haven't been taken.

In this case, the office's probe found that neither of the staff members had been given adequate training, and there weren't enough checks in place to stop private information falling into the hands of the wrong people.

"The health service holds some of the most sensitive information available. The damage and distress caused by the loss of a patient’s medical record is obvious, therefore it is vital that organisations across this sector make sure their data protection practices are adequate," the ICO's top enforcer Stephen Eckersley said in a canned statement.

"We are pleased that the Aneuvin Bevan Health Board has now committed to taking action to address the problems highlighted by our investigation; however organisations across the health service must stand up and take notice of this decision if they want to avoid future enforcement action from the ICO," he warned. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
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
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
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.