Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Over 1,700 patients at risk in 'colossal' NHS mail blunder - BBC News

Over 1,700 patients at risk in 'colossal' NHS mail blunder - BBC News
"At least 1,700 patients may have been harmed by a 'colossal' blunder that meant thousands of patient records were left to pile up in a warehouse.
The number at risk is likely to rise as only two thirds of the 700,000 notes found had been checked, officials said.
Cancer test results and child protection notes were among the documents that were missing in England.
The National Audit Office also said there were questions to answer about the handling of the incident.
...But between 2011 and 2016 a backlog of 709,000 pieces of correspondence piled up in a NHS SBS warehouse.

'Colossal' blunder

The issue came to light in February after the Guardian newspaper reported it.
Now the NAO has reviewed what exactly happened and found:
  • The company had become aware of a risk to patients in January 2014, but senior managers had not developed a plan to deal with it or tell the government or NHS England for another two years 
  • A label with "clinical notes" on it had been removed from the room where the files were stored. A manager had apparently said: "You don't want to advertise what's in that room" 
  • In August 2015, a member of staff raised concerns the records were being destroyed 
  • NHS SBS finally told NHS England and Department of Health of the problem in March 2016, but neither Parliament nor the public were told 
  • The episode suggested there had been a conflict of interest between the health secretary's responsibility for the health service as a whole and his department's position as a shareholder in NHS SBS 
  • NHS England said the company had been "obstructive and unhelpful" when it had tried to investigate issue..."

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