Feeds

Trust fined £225k for leaving patient files in abandoned hospital

Is there a secret NHS sweep on who can blow most data?

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has been fined £225,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office for leaving patient and staff files in an abandoned hospital.

The Belfast Trust became the latest NHS body to feel the wrath of the ICO after it left 100,000 patient records and 15,000 staff records in boxes, cabinets, on the shelves or on the floor of the Belvoir Park Hospital, closed since 2006.

"The Trust failed to take appropriate action to keep the information secure, leaving sensitive information at a hospital site that was clearly no longer fit for purpose. The people involved would also have suffered additional distress as a result of the posting of this data on the internet," the ICO said.

The Trust was landed with responsibility for the site, which had around 40 separate buildings that treated fever and then cancer patients, when six Trusts amalgamated in 2007. It arranged for the 26 acre site to be patrolled by two permanent security guards and five daily mobile patrols to supplement the CCTV on site.

However, by the end of 2007, faults in the CCTV and fire and intruder alarms meant they were no longer working so the guards were on their own. Vandals and trespassers got into the buildings and photographed records, which they then posted online, but the Trust didn't find out about it until someone else told it in March 2010.

The Trust arranged for an inspection of some of the buildings, but parts of the site were cordoned off due to asbestos concerns and a lot of the records had been damaged by damp and mould. The Trust upped security and fixed damaged doors and windows, but the Irish News reported in April last year that it was still possible to get onto the site.

The 100,000 patient records, some from as far back as the 1950s, included X-rays, microfiche records, copies of scans, lab results and other paper files. There were also 15,000 staff files, including unopened wage slips, in a building that had been vacated in 1992.

The Trust has now removed all the records from the site and either destroyed them or filed them properly, the ICO said. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.