Confidential medical records sent to wrong Dagenham patient

Colin Aylward was sent someone else's medical records

Colin Aylward was sent someone else's medical records - Credit: Archant

A dad has spoken of his horror after a hospital breached the Data Protection Act by posting him another patient’s confidential medical records.

Colin Aylward, of Chittys Lane, Dagenham, requested his health documents from Goodmayes Hospital in June.

But when they arrived he was shocked to find a woman’s medical records and contact details printed on the other side.

The 42-year-old photographer said he’s now lost all confidence in the hospital, adding: “This is appalling. It told me really confidential stuff about her and just came through the letter box with the normal post.”

He was asked to send the records back but refused, instead forwarding them on to the woman, who lives in Barking.

They contained information about her alcohol abuse, domestic arguments she had with her husband and how her children had been taken away from her.

Speaking to the Post, the 33-year-old woman said: “It’s not good because they’re supposed to be private and confidential.

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“The person who received my information is a man so I don’t know how they could have made that mistake.

“If I see it’s been posted anywhere weird I’ll go to the police station.”

The hospital failed to heed one of the principles of the Data Protection Act which states that personal information used by organisations, businesses or the government must be kept safe and secure.

A spokeswoman for the North East London NHS foundation trust, which manages the hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, said it was aware of the “unfortunate breach” and is investigating.

“As soon as we were aware of what had happened, two senior managers visited the patient immediately to inform them and to apologise,” she added.

“We have a strong record when it comes to protecting patient confidentiality, which is a major priority for us.”

Colin added: “There were details about children – what if they had been sent to a paedophile?

“If it can happen to this woman who’s to say my stuff isn’t going elsewhere too?”