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Patient sent secret hospital files

PUBLISHED: 19:00 01 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:47 06 July 2010

DETAILS of other hospital patients' conditions and treatments were sent to an Ormesby woman in an envelope containing the results of her own X-ray.

The confidential medical records containing details of 11 other patients' conditions were sent by the James Paget University Hospital.

DETAILS of other hospital patients' conditions and treatments were sent to an Ormesby woman in an envelope containing the results of her own X-ray.

The confidential medical records containing details of 11 other patients' conditions were sent by the James Paget University Hospital.

The records, containing their names, dates of birth, details of their conditions and doctors' names and addresses, were posted to an the shocked Ormesby woman, along with her own medical records.

The 28-year-old, who did not wish to be named, had visited the hospital on Monday, June 21 for an X-ray on the little finger of her left hand, which she had injured playing netball.

But when a package arrived at her home containing the results of her X-ray on Saturday, June 26, little did she know it would also contain the secret information on other patients' complaints and treatments, including one suffering neck pain and another patient who had collapsed in the street with abdominal pain.

Other patients had suffered small abrasions, cellulitis, while the reports even revealed that one was treated for suspected gastro-enteritis after drinking five bottles of strong alcohol.

The Ormesby woman believed the records were probably intended for the same surgery rather than her home, but she did not know which staff member or hospital department had sent them.

She said: “I received a big envelope that obviously looked like it had a lot of paperwork in it and I thought 'this looks good, why is there so much writing for a finger?'

“I looked at the top and saw it was someone else's name, then I looked at the next page and it was someone else's! It is pretty bad really isn't it? Someone else could go and get false IDs with this.”

Her own record showed she had suffered a fractured finger, but there was not much that could be done about it other than to let it heal naturally.

She added: “How do I know someone else has not got my medical records. This could be used to create false identities to make fraudulent insurance claims.”

A spokesman for James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “An investigation is underway and we are in the process of retrieving the patient records and informing those affected.

“Maintaining patient confidentiality, safeguarding their information and managing it legally, securely and efficiently is of paramount importance to the Trust.”

A hospital employee was due to visit the patient to collect the records on Wednesday evening.


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