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Consultant notes ‘fell out of pocket of staff member’ outside Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital – Munster

7 February, 2018 - by Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has today criticised the HSE’s response to a serious data protection breach which occurred at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda last week.

It has emerged that four pages of consultant’s notes fell out of the pocket of a member of staff outside the hospital. The notes contained personal information about eighteen patients, including details of medical conditions and treatments. They were later found by a passer-by, and have since been returned.

Deputy Munster has written to Minister for Health Simon Harris seeking an investigation into the matter, and a full apology to all patients concerned from the HSE.

Deputy Munster said:

“It is absolutely appalling that patient notes have been treated in such a careless manner. I can’t imagine how such a situation came about, but it is clear that the matter needs to be investigated to establish what happened, how it happened, and how we can stop such a breach ever happening again.

“This is the third time in as many years that a breach of this type has occurred at the hospital. It is imperative that systems are brought into place to ensure that this is the last time.

“I wrote to Minister Harris asking him to set up an investigation into the events last week, and asking him to order the HSE to meet with each patient involved and to issue a full apology.

“We can’t afford any flippant, dismissive responses from the HSE. The higher echelons of the HSE appear to be a law unto themselves and need to be held to account.

“I hope that the Minister takes my concerns on board and acts to remedy this matter immediately.” 

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