National Health Service Continuing to Repeat Data Breaches


Newport, Wales -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/01/2014 -- The National Health Service (NHS) has encountered close to 2,500 breaches of confidentiality each year.

An investigation by a privacy campaign group discovered cases of private data being stolen, accidentally sent by post or fax, as well as inappropriate posting on social media.

In total, there were 7,255 recorded incidents between April 2011 and April 2014. The organisation said the mistakes were "unacceptable".

The privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch asked NHS trusts for any breaches of personal data.

It found:

- 50 cases of data being posted on social media
- 103 cases of data being lost or stolen
- 251 cases of data being inappropriately shared with a third party
- 236 cases of data being shared by email, letter or fax

As a result, there were 61 resignations according to the data supplied by the NHS Trusts.

In July 2013, it emerged that NHS Surrey was fined £200,000 by data regulators over the loss of sensitive information of more than 3,000 patients. Thousands of children's patient records were found on a second-hand NHS computer that was auctioned on eBay.

Regulators said NHS Surrey failed to check that a data destruction company had properly disposed of the records. Three further computers that had been sold on eBay contained sensitive data.

"NHS Surrey chose to leave an approved provider and handed over thousands of patients' details to a company without checking that the information had been securely deleted," ICO head of enforcement Stephen Eckersley said in a statement.

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