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450,000 Organ Donation Preferences found to be Inaccurate

A software error has been the cause of almost 450,000 inaccurate organ donation preferences, the ICO has confirmed, following a Press Release on their website.

Irregularities were discovered in the information recorded on the Organ Donation Register by NHS  Blood and Transport (NHSBT), and donation information stated on Driver and Vehicle Licensing Information (DVLA) application forms. Although most people’s information was accurate, 444,031 people’s preference information did require amending – with some of the number being contacted directly in order to ensure their original preferences were as they should be.

As soon as the initial error was recognised in March 2010, an immediate stop was placed on all data files received from the DVLA – a full investigation was then commissioned.

The ICO has stated that:

Alan McDermott, Senior Information Risk Officer at NHSBT, has signed an undertaking which commits the organisation to being more robust in checking information is accurate. This includes systematic sampling and checking of data for accuracy against source documents, routine cross-referencing, as well as making sure all forms for the collection of data are
uniform.

The NHSBT will also continue to write to all new registered entrants to give them an opportunity to report any errors, as well as inviting an external organisation with expertise of running large databases to conduct a review of its proposed new control systems.

To see the full Press Release, go to http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/pressreleases/2011/organ_donation_register_news_release_20110121.ashx now.