Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Solent NHS Trust patient data left at market stall

Patients' confidential information has been left at a market stall and on top of a parking meter in a series of data breaches by Solent NHS Trust.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the BBC revealed the trust had breached data protection 93 times in the past two years.

Michael Parr, director of finance and performance, said it was "regrettable".

He assured patients the trust took their responsibilities regarding sensitive information "very seriously".

Solent NHS Trust provides a range of community and specialist mental health services to more than a million people in Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire.

'Human error'

In one instance a folder containing confidential information was left at a market stall in Shirley High Street in Southampton.

At St James' Hospital in Southsea pictures of adult mental health patients were posted on Facebook by fellow patients.

In another case, records showed a child's mother had contacted the trust "in distress" after her son's appointment details at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Portsmouth were sent to his school.

In a number of cases, details were faxed, emailed or sent by letter to the wrong patients.

One report said one person had "expressed their disgust" at how they had received a patient's sensitive information.

Mr Parr said: "It is regrettable that we have had a number of incidents where standards have been breached over the last two years.

"In common with other NHS Trusts, the majority of breaches have been found to result from human error.

"We see this as an important part of the type of continuous learning which enables improvement and excellence."

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