Patients’ medical notes left at Evesham train station

Worcester News: The Worcestershire Health and Care Trust said the incident was unacceptable The Worcestershire Health and Care Trust said the incident was unacceptable

AN investigation has been launched after confidential medical notes for seriously ill patients were left lying on a table in a train station waiting room.

Hospital bosses have pledged to find out how details for 18 elderly patients were left for anyone to take on a table at Evesham railway station.

Fortunately, the person who found them used to work for the NHS in Worcestershire and recognised the papers immediately as patient records from a palliative care ward at Evesham Community Hospital.

They have asked to remain anonymous but said they were “astounded” to discover the documents and that it has left them with serious concerns about the security of patients’ private information.

“Is this how the NHS in Worcestershire treats our confidential health notes, by leaving them on a table in a railway station for all to see?” they said.

The four, typed A4 sides of paper recovered are dated from a day last month and contain details of elderly patients aged between 64 and 98 being treated on one of the hospital’s wards – which we have chosen not to publish to protect those involved.

However, as well as sensitive details of conditions and treatments, the notes, which have been annotated in several places by hand, also reveal detailed information about patients’ personal circumstances.

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The person who found them said they sent them to your Worcester News to highlight “how bad security is” in the NHS in Worcestershire.

Bosses at Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, which runs the hospital, have admitted the security breach is unacceptable and are now working to establish how it happened.

A spokesman said the documents were “handover notes” to help nurses working on the ward – and that there is clear guidance stating they should be disposed of at the end of a shift.

“On this occasion we believe a member of staff has made a genuine mistake in taking them off the ward and then unintentionally leaving them in a public area but we are investigating the circumstances to understand why this happened,” he said.

“We will be contacting all the patients whose names appear on the notes to apologise and to reassure them that we will be reviewing our systems to ensure they are as tight as possible to minimise the chances of this happening in the future.

“We will also take this opportunity to remind all our staff off the expectations on them when it comes to handling patient information.”

Comments (11)

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8:16am Wed 4 Sep 13

green49 says...

Beggars belief, there is so much incompetance in the NHS, as anyone who has seen my constant condemnation of it all will now see, yet another negligent action, i am glad it has been brought to light but the WN has no right to publish the names as they know they are confidential,
Beggars belief, there is so much incompetance in the NHS, as anyone who has seen my constant condemnation of it all will now see, yet another negligent action, i am glad it has been brought to light but the WN has no right to publish the names as they know they are confidential, green49
  • Score: -4

8:18am Wed 4 Sep 13

imustbeoldiwearacap says...

So the finder sent the papers to the "Worcester News" where all and sundry could read them....Good Move! This was an obvious accident by a person reading the notes whilst waiting for a train and forgetting to pick them up, and not a careless disposal of notes! Does the person who found them have a grudge against the NHS? The SENSIBLE thing to do was to return them direct to the hospital concerned - but it looks like the person got their revenge!
So the finder sent the papers to the "Worcester News" where all and sundry could read them....Good Move! This was an obvious accident by a person reading the notes whilst waiting for a train and forgetting to pick them up, and not a careless disposal of notes! Does the person who found them have a grudge against the NHS? The SENSIBLE thing to do was to return them direct to the hospital concerned - but it looks like the person got their revenge! imustbeoldiwearacap
  • Score: 11

8:23am Wed 4 Sep 13

green49 says...

Dissagree, this always needs exposing as it happens so many times, i have first hand experience of this.
Dissagree, this always needs exposing as it happens so many times, i have first hand experience of this. green49
  • Score: -8

8:25am Wed 4 Sep 13

truth must out says...

imustbeoldiwearacap wrote:
So the finder sent the papers to the "Worcester News" where all and sundry could read them....Good Move! This was an obvious accident by a person reading the notes whilst waiting for a train and forgetting to pick them up, and not a careless disposal of notes! Does the person who found them have a grudge against the NHS? The SENSIBLE thing to do was to return them direct to the hospital concerned - but it looks like the person got their revenge!
Probably cost someone their job and reputation. Hope you are happy with your actions, and of course you wish to remain anonymous, just like most cowards.
[quote][p][bold]imustbeoldiwearacap[/bold] wrote: So the finder sent the papers to the "Worcester News" where all and sundry could read them....Good Move! This was an obvious accident by a person reading the notes whilst waiting for a train and forgetting to pick them up, and not a careless disposal of notes! Does the person who found them have a grudge against the NHS? The SENSIBLE thing to do was to return them direct to the hospital concerned - but it looks like the person got their revenge![/p][/quote]Probably cost someone their job and reputation. Hope you are happy with your actions, and of course you wish to remain anonymous, just like most cowards. truth must out
  • Score: 4

8:26am Wed 4 Sep 13

truth must out says...

green49 wrote:
Dissagree, this always needs exposing as it happens so many times, i have first hand experience of this.
Suppose you never made any mistakes in life then.....!!
[quote][p][bold]green49[/bold] wrote: Dissagree, this always needs exposing as it happens so many times, i have first hand experience of this.[/p][/quote]Suppose you never made any mistakes in life then.....!! truth must out
  • Score: 9

8:37am Wed 4 Sep 13

green49 says...

imustgreen49 wrote:
Dissagree, this always needs exposing as it happens so many times, i have first hand experience of this.
Suppose you never made any mistakes in life then.....!!

We all make mistakes but this is complete incompetance, these papers should never have been out of the hospital, hope your name wasnt on it?
imustgreen49 wrote: Dissagree, this always needs exposing as it happens so many times, i have first hand experience of this. Suppose you never made any mistakes in life then.....!! We all make mistakes but this is complete incompetance, these papers should never have been out of the hospital, hope your name wasnt on it? green49
  • Score: -3

9:13am Wed 4 Sep 13

sugarlump says...

funny how records are always left on buses, trains, and waiting areas and find their way to the press! Hmmm
funny how records are always left on buses, trains, and waiting areas and find their way to the press! Hmmm sugarlump
  • Score: 5

10:04am Wed 4 Sep 13

tub_thumper says...

Was the person who left them at the station a Crown Taxi employee by any chance? 😉
Was the person who left them at the station a Crown Taxi employee by any chance? 😉 tub_thumper
  • Score: 2

12:43pm Wed 4 Sep 13

batchelorboy says...

OK, so this is clearly a disgusting careless act eh.

What is the worst anybody could do with the information in those notes? I've never worked for the NHS so don't know exactly what info would be in those notes - how many of you above know??

If a criminal got their hands on the notes, I'm sure they wouldn't give two hoots about medical conditions and medication/treatment
s etc. They would only be interested in details they could use to commit identity theft, possibly. How many of us throw letters in the recycling bin that might contain private info that only criminals could make use of?

Yes, this was a silly mistake by whomever left those notes on that table, but seriously some of the above comments are a bit over the top "in my opinion".
OK, so this is clearly a disgusting careless act eh. What is the worst anybody could do with the information in those notes? I've never worked for the NHS so don't know exactly what info would be in those notes - how many of you above know?? If a criminal got their hands on the notes, I'm sure they wouldn't give two hoots about medical conditions and medication/treatment s etc. They would only be interested in details they could use to commit identity theft, possibly. How many of us throw letters in the recycling bin that might contain private info that only criminals could make use of? Yes, this was a silly mistake by whomever left those notes on that table, but seriously some of the above comments are a bit over the top "in my opinion". batchelorboy
  • Score: 7

1:54pm Wed 4 Sep 13

psychoflump says...

Handover notes? I assumed they didn't bother given all the crap I've witnessed in the NHS.

This shouldn't be classed as a mistake since those documents should never have left the building, everything that happened after that was a result of that WILLFUL DECISION. As to the comment that some might have lost their job, good. Maybe if a few more people who play fast and loose with our personal data got the shove we would see less of this.
Handover notes? I assumed they didn't bother given all the crap I've witnessed in the NHS. This shouldn't be classed as a mistake since those documents should never have left the building, everything that happened after that was a result of that WILLFUL DECISION. As to the comment that some might have lost their job, good. Maybe if a few more people who play fast and loose with our personal data got the shove we would see less of this. psychoflump
  • Score: -3

8:03pm Wed 4 Sep 13

The Doosra says...

psychoflump wrote:
Handover notes? I assumed they didn't bother given all the crap I've witnessed in the NHS.

This shouldn't be classed as a mistake since those documents should never have left the building, everything that happened after that was a result of that WILLFUL DECISION. As to the comment that some might have lost their job, good. Maybe if a few more people who play fast and loose with our personal data got the shove we would see less of this.
Roll on electronic notes I say: then there would be no need for patient notes to be transported from location to location.

As for the individual who left the notes at the station, it was clearly a negligent act not to transport the notes in a secure manner. Pretty basic really and worthy of disciplinary action in my opinion.
[quote][p][bold]psychoflump[/bold] wrote: Handover notes? I assumed they didn't bother given all the crap I've witnessed in the NHS. This shouldn't be classed as a mistake since those documents should never have left the building, everything that happened after that was a result of that WILLFUL DECISION. As to the comment that some might have lost their job, good. Maybe if a few more people who play fast and loose with our personal data got the shove we would see less of this.[/p][/quote]Roll on electronic notes I say: then there would be no need for patient notes to be transported from location to location. As for the individual who left the notes at the station, it was clearly a negligent act not to transport the notes in a secure manner. Pretty basic really and worthy of disciplinary action in my opinion. The Doosra
  • Score: 0

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