North East Wales

North Wales physio took home 800 patient files home

Betsi Cadwaladr sign

A north Wales physiotherapist has been suspended for removing patient files without consent.

Joanne Lee was was working for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board when she took more than 800 patient files.

She admitted to storing them in her home during office renovations.

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) said Ms Lee's behaviour fell "seriously short" of that expected and suspended her from the register for 12 months.

Ms Lee said she initially removed the files as she feared they would be seen by workmen.

She returned them to the office in plastic bags, but moved them to a colleague's homes due to concerns they would be subject to scrutiny by her head of department during an upcoming office tour.

A panel of the HCPC Conduct and Competence Committee heard the absence of the files had resulted in the health board having to carry out either full re-assessments or further assessments on patients.

The panel chair, Manuela Grayson, said this "may have unnecessarily resulted in further intimate or invasive re-examinations", which in turn "may have caused additional physical or emotional distress".

Ms Lee was neither present nor represented at the hearing.