Patients’ details found in St Leonards street
Another case of confidential details of hospital patients being found lying in a street has come to light.
Last week it was reported on how Westfield resident Mel Simpkinson discovered a USB memory stick lying on the ground in Oasthouse Close, St Leonards, behind the Conquest Hospital.
She took it home, thinking it was someone’s treasured photographs, and intended to post one of the pictures on social media in a bid to reunite the memory stick with its owner.
But she was shocked to find patients’ private records instead and immediately informed the hospital.
Emma Royston, of Woodland Vale Road, St Leonards, told the Observer this week she found similar private details about Gardner ward patients on papers lying on the ground in the same area.
She said: “I was absolutely shocked at the discovery. It was on the ground outside hospital premises and anyone could have found it.”
Emma told the Observer she found the papers last year but did not know what to do after discovering the information until reading the article in last week’s edition.
“I kept the information, intending to let the hospital know but completely forgot, as I suffer from memory loss.”
Darren Grayson, chief executive of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We take the security of personal information extremely seriously and once notified of this security breach we immediately collected the paper from Ms Royston. We are grateful to her for handing back the information although it is unfortunate she did not contact us a year ago when she originally found it. She has confirmed the information has not been shared or copied. We will be undertaking an investigation into this incident alongside the current investigation into the USB stick incident last week and will be writing to each of the patients affected individually as soon as possible to make them aware of the actions we will be taking. If any member of the public has any concerns at this stage, we would ask them to contact the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01424 758090.”
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