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Patient Details left on Train

It was announced this week that a doctor, hoping to undertake work at home following his shift at a hospital within the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, left printed out documents containing the personal and diagnostic information of his patients on a tube train. The doctor did realise the documents were missing, and did retrieve them from the train’s termination point.

However, this act of forgetfulness has sparked outrage among staff at the ICO. Sally-Anne Poole pointed out that “Most of us can think of time when we’ve found someone else’s personal belonging, like an umbrella, left behind on a train. But the last thing we should ever expect to find are highly confidential and sensitive papers detailing people’s medical history.”
As a result, the ICO called for more effective data protection measures to be put in place at the Trust, and as such, the Chief Executive of the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust has signed a formal undertaken, to ensure that mistakes like this do not happen again.
To read the full story, go to http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/pressreleases/2010/nw_london_hospitals_nhs_trust_undertaking_20101018.ashx
and to read the full Undertaking, go to http://www.ico.gov.uk/what_we_cover/promoting_data_privacy/taking_action.aspx#nwlondonnhs
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Comment
Mistakes can happen, and an organisation’s current system may be found to have loop holes in, thus introducing an element of risk into the data management system. However, it is vitally important that procedures relating to the management of data are documented, adhered to and regularly reviewed so as to not allow such procedural flaws to happen at all.
By having a documented procedural system for data management, the chances of getting it right first time will be increased. By reviewing such systems will continually improving the data management system. This is something that Absolute Data does and can help you with. Contact us now: info@absolute-data.co.uk