The Sunday Post (Newcastle)
Rules on patients’ privacy breached
Privacy laws intended to protect the personal information of patients have been breached more than 1,300 times in two years, according to an investigation.
Four people have been reported to Police Scotland and 73 NHS workers have faced disciplinary action.
The revelation came after married radiographer Andrew Stewart was prosecuted for accessing the personal records of female patients then sending lewd messages.
The 32-year-old had dealt with hundreds of patients at hospitals in Ayrshire and Lanarkshire, and was sentenced to unpaid work and a supervision order.
Freedom of information requests submitted by investigative website The Ferret found 1,395 data breaches over the last two years. The true figure may be higher as four health boards were unable to provide responses.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde recorded the highest number with 673 since January 2018 but 95% were attributed to human error. The remainder led to disciplinary action.
NHS Lanarkshire had 220 incidents, of which three were reported to police but it declined to say whether it still employed the individuals involved.
All the health boards said patient confidentiality was taken very seriously.