Patients’ private medical data lost on 29 occasions

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Patients’ sensitive medical details went missing on 29 separate occasions in the Western Health and Social Care Trust over the past five years, according to data newly released by the Health Minister Michelle O’Neill.

The confidential records went missing at various times between November 2011 and November of last year, the Minister revealed.

This was the highest incidence rate of missing records of any health authority across the North. In fact, more records were lost in the Western Trust that in the rest of the North combined.

According to the figures released by the Minister patients’ records went missing just 14 times in the Belfast Trust, just nine times in the South Eastern Trust and just twice in the Northern Trust.

No records at all went missing in the Southern Trust.

But in 2012/13 alone eleven patients’ records went missing in the local health authority, more than in any other year.

Four Western Trust patients’ medical details went missing between November 2011 and April 2012; 11, as aforementioned, in 2012/13; three in 2013/14; five in 2014/15; and six in 2015/16.

From April to November last year, the last time period for which the Minister released details, there were no cases of any medical records having gone missing.

The Minister released the details in response to an Assembly Question tabled by the West Tyrone SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan.