A number of NHS fax data breach issues have come to light
There has been a spate of NHS fax data breach incidents as a result of a fax number used within the healthcare system that’s similar to an unrelated one.
A hotel group that reportedly has a similar fax number has contacted the Corporate Information Governance Team at NHS England to report the issue. As a result, NHS England has reminded GP surgeries and pharmacists about the importance of making sure data is sent to the correct recipient.
These kinds of NHS data breach cases are so easy to avoid, yet they often happen so easily.
Alarming NHS fax data breach incidents
These alarming NHS fax data breach incidents are totally avoidable. But it’s these kinds of breaches that happen all to often, which is why our legal team help a lot of people claim in NHS data breach compensation cases.
It’s understood that data including dispensing tokens, requests for medication and certificates have been sent to the incorrect number. Because the fax number is reportedly similar to one that a hotel group uses, some staff have accidentally sent data to the hotel group in error.
Avoidable NHS fax data breach problems
These NHS fax data breach cases are totally avoidable. Although it’s understood that the only way to send the data within the healthcare system is by using this fax number, staff should be checking and be thorough when it comes to data as personal and sensitive as medical information.
The next question is about whether this way of communicating private information is outdated. There have been calls for the NHS to “get with the times” and ditch the use of faxes and pagers, and we agree. There are far better ways to send data that can be far more secure and can limit the possibility of simple errors like this.
When personal and sensitive medical data goes astray, it can cause a huge amount of distress for the victim. With healthcare sector data breaches one of the more common types we deal with, it’s clear to us that more needs to be done to protect medical data. When we hear stories like the NHS fax issues, it’s a real concern.
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