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Patient data left in shut hospital


6 October, 2008  

Confidential patient records have been left lying about a disused hospital despite repeated warnings to health chiefs, a report has found.

NHS Tayside took action only after media reports emerged about the data at Strathmartine Hospital on the outskirts of Dundee.

The NHS Quality Improvement Scotland report found: “Despite three opportunities to address this issue (2003, 2005 and 2007) NHS Tayside did not follow through on the information they were provided with.

“It was not until the situation broke in the media that the NHS board took effective action.

“The expert group considers this to be a further illustration of the lack of effective project management of the closure of this site.”

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the rules need to be tightened to ensure security of all health data.

The report also voices concerns that NHS Tayside may have breached the Data Protection Act 1998, although not in a way that would impact on the health or wellbeing of individuals.

It emerged in July that X-rays marked with patients’ names, photographs and other paperwork were found scattered at Law Hospital in Carluke, Lanarkshire, which closed in 2001.

Copyright PA Business 2008

NHS Tayside