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NHS apologies after patients' records are left in street
HEALTH bosses have apologised after confidential personal and medical records were found lying in the street outside Littlemore Hospital.
The physiotherapy records of two patients were sent to the Oxford Mail anonymously after being dropped in the street.
It is Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust’s second blunder in the space of a month, after marked bags containing suspected NHS waste were found in Blackbird Leys.
The documents, which date back to 2004 and 2005, include personal information, such as names, addresses and dates of birth of two patients.
One set of records belonged to Elaine Banks, 49, who lived in Chipping Norton almost a decade ago, but now lives in Northamptonshire.
Mrs Banks said: “Obviously it concerns me that anything is out there which shouldn’t be. It’s not the medical records I’m worried about, it’s my name, address and date of birth, that sort of personal information.
“I do want it to be investigated, because it’s not great that things like this happen.
“They need to put safeguards in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The second patient was Katharine Brearey, 41, of Hook Norton.
She said: “It’s not a sensitive document and it’s not a new document either. I think if it was something more sensitive or more recent I would be more upset.”
Oxford Health spokesman Carrie-Ann Wade Williams said: “Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust apologises to the individuals concerned and we are currently attempting to contact them in order to discuss this matter.
“The trust takes all incidents relating to patient information seriously and will urgently be investigating this incident. Once we have completed the investigation we will implement any actions that are identified.”
The news comes after bags containing suspected NHS waste were twice found along Blackbird Leys Road, near Blackbird Leys Health Centre.
Despite reporting the matter in November, members of Blackbird Leys Parish Council spotted another bag of waste in January.
The parish council said Oxford Health was alerted and cleared the bags away on both occasions.
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust said it could offer no information but would investigate.
Ms Wade Williams said: “Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is currently looking into this incident and we will be contacting Blackbird Leys Parish Council for further information.”
Parish councillor Ann Booker attends regular clean-up sessions around the estate with a community warden.
She said: “It could be hazardous, you don’t know. It could be someone’s records or confidential data, they really shouldn’t have bags like that left around. When people see ‘NHS’ on something like that, the tendency is to worry.
“We reported the matter to them and they cleared it up straight away. So for it to come back is obviously something we are actively trying to stop happening.”