RJAH writing to patients over data breach

Release Date: 24/05/2018

RJAH writing to patients over data breach

Senior leaders at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital have pledged to contact every patient affected by a data breach.

The Trust has been investigating since discovering in late April that some data of up to 2,500 patients taking part in a long-standing surveillance study may have been shared without their consent. It also reported the matter to the Information Commissioner as soon as it became aware.

An internal investigation has already established that some information collected as part of usual treatment was shared with a medical component manufacturer as part of a surveillance study.  This study, which began in 2006, was set up to monitor the outcomes for patients of procedures using these particular components.

The investigation, which is still ongoing, has established that not all patients were aware their data was being used in the study.

Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive, gave an update to the Trust’s Board of Directors at their monthly meeting today. He said: “This is not acceptable and we will be writing to those patients affected to apologise for processing data in this way.

“The Trust takes the protection of its patients’ data extremely seriously and regrets this breach.  A full investigation is under way to establish how it has occurred and ensure that measures are taken to prevent anything similar from happening in the future.

“It is a patient’s right to decide how their data is used and therefore it is important for the Trust to be clear whether a patient is happy for their data to continue to be processed in this way or whether they wish to withdraw from the study

“To that end, we will be writing to patients who may be affected to understand their wishes in the coming weeks. Once again I would wish to apologise to any patient affected.”

The data shared may have included the initial and surname of some patients, as well as their hospital number and limited extracts of clinical information relevant to the study, for example clinical measurements. No patient case notes have been shared.

Anyone concerned that they might be affected can contact the hospital’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) by calling 01691 404606 or emailing rjah.pals.office@nhs.net

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