Health sector update: abandoned patient records result in ICO fine

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has imposed a fine of £100,000 on Stockport Primary Care Trust (Stockport PCT) for a serious breach of the Data Protection Act 1998. The fine shows the continued focus by the ICO on data protection compliance in the health sector.

The fine, which was reported on 3 June 2013, followed the discovery of highly sensitive patient records left abandoned at a former site of Stockport PCT. The abandoned data related to some 200 patients and also included child protection records and, in one case, a police report regarding the death of a child.

The data was recovered when the site was purchased and the new owner found boxes of records left behind. This led to an ICO investigation that uncovered two earlier data protection incidents…

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