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'I feel violated' - Hospital sends personal details of 11 patients to wrong address

PUBLISHED: 17:10 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:01 12 October 2019

Cireena Read, whose personal information was sent to the wrong address by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: Nick Butcher/Cireena Read

Cireena Read, whose personal information was sent to the wrong address by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: Nick Butcher/Cireena Read

Archant © 2018

A disabled mother-of-two says she feels violated after personal details about her sent by her hospital were delivered to the wrong address.

Cireena Read, of Northrepps, was distraught when she opened a letter from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital informing her of the error, which saw personal and medical details about her and 10 others mistakenly sent to the wrong address.

The details centred on a visit she made in September to the hospital's emergency department and had been intended for her GP in Cromer. They had been sent in a batch with 11 others.

However, an administrative error meant they instead landed in the hands of another patient, who returned them to the hospital by hand on receipt.

The hospital then wrote to each of the affected patients, informing them of the data breach and apologising for the error.

Mrs Read, 44, said: "When I opened the letter I felt incredibly angry, distressed and let down. The fact that somebody out there could have accessed my details is so, so upsetting.

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"I think it's abysmal, particularly because it didn't just happen to me. I just feel violated."

The letter, which has been seen by this newspaper, explains that the information erroneously shared included names, addresses, dates of birth and reasons for attendance.

The hospital has now launched a full investigation into how the mistake occurred, as it seeks to prevent repeat performances in future.

A spokesman for NNUH said: "Following an administrative error, 11 hospital discharge letters that were intended for a GP surgery were accidentally sent to a patient's address.

"We have informed the affected patients and have offered our sincere apologies for the error.

"We are looking into what happened and this is an ongoing investigation to ensure lessons are learned and shared. This has also been reported to the information commissioner's office and we will share the outcome of these investigations with those affected.

"Our staff have been reminded to ensure their information governance mandatory training is up to date and in the near future all discharge letters to GP surgeries will be sent electronically."

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