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Hospital records discovered in bin


27 December, 2007  

An investigation has been launched after secret hospital records were recovered from a wheelie-bin in Norwich.

Norfolk and Norwich Hospital said information relating to 55 patients had been lost in a “deplorable” and “serious” breach of confidentiality”.

The notes turned up in the Bowthorpe area of the city, and were found by a member of the public as she emptied her bin.

A hospital spokeswoman said: “This is a deplorable and very serious breach of patient confidentiality and we have launched an urgent internal investigation to identify the source of this breach. This will be treated as a serious disciplinary matter.

“We have reminded all our staff of the very real responsibility they all carry to maintain patient confidentiality at all times. The rules are very clear – staff should not take patient sensitive information away from our hospitals.”

The spokeswoman said the misplaced data included the name, hospital number and brief medical details of 55 patients.

But she added that addresses, contact details and NHS numbers were not included on the papers.

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Norfolk and Norwich Hospital NHS Trust