Patient data found in hospital car park bin.

Date: 2015-10-14

Executives at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust have now employed a dedicated “privacy officer” to ensure patient information is protected after confidential medical information and patient data was found in a hospital car park bin.

A report has revealed that private documents were also found in a recently-cleaned hospital apartment, before being handed over to healthcare bosses.

A spokesman for the trust said actions had been taken following the discovery of patient handover notes in public areas and that the patients involved in the most serious incidents have been notified of the errors.

He added that training was mandatory for all new members of staff along with annual refresher training on data governance.

The four level two data breaches, which took place in June, July and August last year as well as in January this year, have all been referred to the Office of the Information Commissioner for external investigation.

“Finding data in car park bins is not acceptable from any industry, but the healthcare sector deal with medical records that often contain extremely sensitive information and private patient details,” commented Jonathan Richardson, managing director and data protection specialist at Russell Richardson. “Any organisation that has documents containing confidential data, such as patient records, customer details, invoices and financial records should be using a secure shredding and recycling service. At Russell Richardson we supply lockable containers and cabinets to keep documents safe until the point of destruction and provide certification for peace of mind and accountability should any unforeseen issues arise.

For help with data protection compliance, or for more information on confidential shredding services, contact Russell Richardson on 0800 2946552