Derriford patient medical records dumped in charity bin

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Image caption Derriford hospital said it took patient confidentiality "very seriously" and had investigated the incident

Medical records of 37 patients were dumped in a charity bin by a hospital employee, it has been confirmed.

One patient, Vanessa Small, from Plymouth, said she was "disgusted" when she discovered her details had been discarded.

Ms Small, who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, said the files included her name, NHS number and future appointments.

Derriford Hospital said the responsible staff member was no longer employed.

Ms Small received a letter from the hospital on 24 February informing her that her records had been discarded in a charity clothes bank in Truro, the Plymouth Herald reported.

"I can't just go up to Derriford and say can I have my information, so why should someone else?", Ms Small said.

Image caption Ms Small said she was surprised to hear that the records of 36 other patients had been dumped

She said: "With cases of identity theft, you have to be really careful."

Ms Small said it "would have been nice to receive a phone call" from the hospital.

In a statement Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust said the discarded documents were not full sets of medical records, and all affected patients had been contacted.

The Trust said it had conducted an investigation into the incident, and had reported it to the Information Commissioner's Office, who regulate the Data Protection Act, and to the Northern Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group.

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