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Couple find psychiatric reports beneath mattress in their rented Wexford house

The HSE said it is taking the matter “extremely seriously” and is investigating.

Image: Shutterstock/jack_photo

Updated 3pm, 5 August

AN INVESTIGATION IS underway after medical files were found in a house in County Wexford.

The woman who found the files, called Jane, told TheJournal.ie today that she and her partner were in the spare room of the house when they discovered the files beneath a mattress.

They moved into the house around two months ago and the house was not vacant, as had previously been reported.

“This is in top condition, the house we are in,” Jane said.  She said that when they discovered the 50 – 60 files beneath the mattress, they realised they were psychiatric reports and official documents.

They did not read the files, said Jane. As it was late at night, the following morning they contacted the HSE, the gardaí and a local TD. They also sought legal advice on what to do with the files.

Jane subsequently handed the documents to a detective garda in Enniscorthy.

Investigation

Last night, the HSE confirmed that it was contacted by a member of the public about the discovery of confidential documents relating to patients being found in a house in the Wexford area.

Gardaí confirmed they had been contacted about the matter.

The HSE said it is taking this matter “extremely seriously” and has initiated an investigation.

The discovery has also been reported to the Data Protection Commissioner’s office.

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The HSE said it is working under the guidance provided by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in relation to the issue.

It said it will be “co-operating with the Data Protection Commissioner’s office as to any follow up actions that need to be taken”.

All the documents are now in the possession of the HSE. A statement from the service concluded by saying:

The HSE has policies and procedures in place to ensure that patients’ medical information is treated in confidence and that such material, is not accessed inappropriately.

- Additional reporting Aoife Barry

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