Trust ‘learning from data breach incidents’

THE Northern Health Trust has said there are “robust measures” in place to handle data breaches and it is “learning” from incidents where patients’ information was wrongly disclosed.

This follows revelations in a Belfast-based newspaper which found that there were 21 data breaches since January 2008 by the Northern Health Trust.

Of those incidents, one of the most serious cases was of a social worker who had mistakenly provided a client’s details to her violent ex-partner.

And in another incident - unknown to the Trust - a woman said she was emailed the confidential details of eight other people by health staff.

A spokeswoman for the Northern Trust said: “Robust measures are in place to deal with data breaches and for learning from these incidences.

“In this instance [of eight patients’ details wrongly emailed to one person] we were not aware of this clerical error and are grateful that it was reported to us. All of the people affected by this incident have been advised.

“The Trust regularly reviews its processes for managing patient information.

“The Trust has in place training for staff which includes their responsibility in relation to patient confidentiality.”