Tuesday, 24 June 2008

In light of my experiences with clinical records...

... this excerpt from the latest Performance report (in the Assurance Framework section) from BLPT caught my eye:

"If the Trust cannot find/replace lost disks containing patient records then the Trust will be in breach of Data Protection and may face litigation. "

Records are lost. Doesn't surprise me, particularly if they are connected with CMHTs(1). However, it sounds as if these are computer based records, which is doubly worrying, given the ease with which they can be transported and disseminated. Of course, I don't know the details of the situation, but from this it does appear that there are missing records. Indeed, further notes state:
"WAMHS(2) software and disks and MHOPS(3) disks are held within the Records Facility however this is only limited. A request was sent out to all staff via trust Today(4) asking for any other disks or software to be sent to the records facility"

(1) CHMT - Communicty Mental Health Team
(2) WAMHS - Working Age Mental Health Services
(3) Mental Health of Older Person Services
(4) Trust Today - In house magazine circulated to BLPT staff.


Rainbow dreams said...

Hi, am still around and thinking of you. Just popping by to say hello....

marcella said...

what on earth are staff doing wandering round with patient identifiable data? Of course in the days of hand held paper notes your dear old GP probably DID use your notes to prop up the wonky leg on the kitchen table, but nowadays with everyone SO aware of data protection why would anyone want to put themselves at such risk?

By the way, I love the fact that there is someone else out there in the world reading the minutes of these meetings. I ALMOST said to my GP yesterday "oh but haven't you read the PCT minutes from April, they clearly state what the Trust policy is on this" - but I stopped myself as i might as well have been speaking Yiddish for all she would have understood. Do you think we're the only ones out there who read them. I do hope not but sometimes I wonder.

Disillusioned said...

Thanks, Katie. Glad you are still there!

Marcella, I have no idea. I can't quite work out (possibly intentional on their part) whether this is just a "theoretical risk" or a "real risk" - ie, it is unclear whether they are aware of missing data or not. My suspicion is the former.

I suspect there are few of us reading the notes online. In the case of my Trust, it seems that every time I report a problem (such as links not working) I am the first and only person to do so. That's why I post things here - I know it reaches a limited number of people, but it has to be more people than would read the original!