Patients of the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust have responded with outrage after being told their confidential details were on a mislaid USB stick.
The trust sent letters apologising to those whose personal information was found behind the Conquest Hospital in St Leonards on Wednesday, June 17.
The letter assures patients, who had treatment with the gastroenterlogy department, their details were not downloaded, passed on or kept and states it was on the memory stick for audit purposes.
Angry patients have described the response as too slow and ‘disgusting’.
“Two weeks is too long,” Caroline Mayle said, who got the letter in the post last week telling her details of her son’s illness were on the misplaced stick.
Yvonne Clark, from Battle, also received a letter telling her she had cancer from the hospital last month, which turned out to be a mistake and was also sent to 850 other people.
“What the heck was it doing out of the hospital?” she said.
“I couldn’t believe it and only a few weeks after the cancer letter.”
The letter makes no reference to how the person responsible will be disciplined but describes the incident as ‘isolated’.
“I’m so angry and I don’t trust them anymore, I’m supposed to have a foot operation next month but this really puts you off,” Mrs Clark said.
“I might come back with my leg amputated!”
Others have responded on social media like Amy Barnes who said: “Letters? They couldn’t even be bothered to ring people.. that’s disgusting.”
Manthiy Wasgillett said she has been trying to call the trust but apparently no one is answering,
“I’m one of these people as well and I feel a bit violated !!!” she wrote.
Patricia Pratt does not understand why the data even left the hospital.
“My grudge against the hospital is that this stick with all our information on should never have got outside the hospital property,” she said.
“Also anyone could have had this information on this stick before the lady found it so really they cannot say that it was a one off incident.”
Chief executive of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust Darren Grayson said: “We have written to each of the patients whose information was on the data stick individually to apologise and make them aware of the incident and the actions the trust will be taking.
“I would like to reassure all patients that the trust takes the security of their personal information extremely seriously.
“Our investigation to date has shown that the data stick belonged to an individual member of staff and was not compliant with Trust policy.
“If any member of the public has any concerns, we would ask them to contact the trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01424 758090.”
If you or if you know someone affected by this please call Jack on 01414 856783 or email email@example.com.
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