HSE should examine reasons for breaches
It has emerged that the HSE has breached serious data protection protocols a total of 113 times during the past two years.
Breaches include a child's mental health records being faxed to a bank, a personal file left behind when it was placed on a care roof and forgotten about and an x-ray report being found in a branch of Penney's.
The HSE has said that every time a breach such as this occurs, staff are reminded of their responsibilities under data-protection legislation, but is just seems incredible that this number of breaches would take place.
This amounts to more than four a month. Surely this cannot be the case? We have no option but to place out trust in healthcare and HSE officials when we need vital services and so is it the case that we really don't know where our personal files could end up?
Personally, I think that every single person working on the ground in the health service is grossly overworked and largely underpaid.
Given the pressure they are under, it is not surprising that sometimes mistakes are made. Given that there have been so many breaches of protocols, perhaps it is time for new systems to be put in place. This cannot be a situation which can be allowed to continue.
If staff members are prone to bringing patient files into shops with them, then it is a practice which must stop - even if it means a return to an office every evening to return all documents.
Members of the public can't be expected to accept that their personal data could be left anywhere to be found.
Just a few years ago, a large number of patient files were found dumped in a bin. This is clearly not an adequate method of disposal.
If you cannot trust the HSE with your data, then who can you trust? It's a terrible shame that these breaches have taken place, because stories like this just detract from the truly wonderful work that those in the health service provide.
They are forced to stretch themselves so thinly while striving to provide a professional and efficient service. If data-protection is a problem, then HSE management should assess why staff are making these mistakes and perhaps what pressure they are under when they occur.