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medical files

Investigation launched after personal medical files found dumped in Co Donegal park

The large file was found dumped close to bushes at a park close to Letterkenny University Hospital.

AN INVESTIGATION HAS been launched after personal medical files were found dumped in a Co Donegal park.

The large file was found dumped close to bushes at Bernard McGlinchey Park close to Letterkenny University Hospital.

A family out walking came across the files which contains sensitive medical history on an elderly woman from the Convoy area.

As well as letters to the woman’s GP, the file contains parts of her medical history.

How the file ended up dumped in the park is not yet known.

Local county councillor Gerry McMonagle, who is a member of the Northwest Regional Health Forum has demanded a full investigation.

He told Donegal Daily: “A full investigation into how this woman’s file ended up in a public park for anyone to find has to be carried out.

“The hospital and the health board has to find out where this file was stored and how it came to be in a public place apparently dumped.”

And councillor McGonagle said the HSE must also investigate if other patients’ files are missing.

“How do we know that there are not a lot of other files missing. A full check-list of all files will now have to be carried out,” he said.

“I want to know what security measures are in place to secure these files and how come that security was seemingly breached on this occasion.”

The woman who found the files while out playing with her children said she was horrified that somebody’s full medical history was simply dumped in a public park.

“I wasn’t sure what it was first when the children pointed to it. I had a quick look at it and I was shocked that it was a medical file with all this woman’s medical history in it,” she said.

“I don’t know how it happened but somebody needs to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I would be horrified to think my mother’s private hospital records were left in a public park.”

The full file has since been handed back to staff at Letterkenny University Hospital.

Saolta, the communications Department of Letterkenny University Hospital, is aware of the breach.

A spokesperson for Saolta said: “Letterkenny University Hospital will be fully investigating this incident to establish how it occurred.”

The Data Protection Commission has been contacted for comment.

Stephen Maguire
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