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Southend Hospital probe after appointment mix-up
SOUTHEND Hospital launched an investigation after a patient was sent confidential details of other patients.
Mike McKenzie, of Sutton Court, Pantile Avenue, Southend is an outpatient at the hospital and was sent a date for an MRI scan for Friday. However, the envelope also contained appointments for two other people, also for MRI scans, but on different days and living nowhere near him.
It contained private personal information, including full names and addresses and hospital numbers.
Mr McKenzie, who suffered a stroke several years ago and is registered disabled, said: “It was quite thick and as I looked through the paperwork, I found two other patients’ appointments in with mine. Its an appalling breach of data protection.
“I’m quite sure these people don’t want others knowing of the specific MRI scans they need, nor their full names and addresses.”
The blunder could also have led to other patients missing their scans if Mr McKenzie failed to report the error.
He added: “There is also the delay in these people finding out about their appointments. Mine was for a week later.
”Yet again this is poor service from a poor hospital.”
Mr McKenzie contacted the patient advice and liaison service at the hospital to complain and handed the letter to staff there.
He also intends informing the Information Commissioner about the breach.
Sue Hardy, chief nurse and deputy chief executive at the hospital, said action had been taken to prevent such a mistake happening again. She said: “We have looked into this and it was clearly an administrative error.
Procedures are being tightened up to ensure that nothing similar occurs in future. The other patients have been notified of their appointments.
“We would like to apologise to them and to Mr McKenzie.”
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