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Monday, July 15, 2024
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Patient files lost in street

By Geoff Vause

[email protected]

Confidential files containing patients details blew from the roof of a Wairarapa District Health Board car on Wednesday morning.

A DHB employee visiting patients left the files on the roof of the car in Masterton’s Michael Street at about 8.30am and drove away without realizing they were still on the roof

One of the A4 pages was found a short distance from where the car had been parked, the remaining 17 pages are still unaccounted for.

DHB chairman Derek Milne said yesterday he wanted to apologise to patients whose details had “escaped in this way”.

“My expectation is patient files would not be taken home by staff, but if there’s been a whoopsy on this occasion then we have to see it doesn’t happen again,” Dr Milne said.

“I also feel for the staff member involved in this. It can happen, and it’s regrettable for patient details to be lost in this way.”

The loose-leaf files were together in a blue and white coloured cardboard folder, marked with the DHB logo.

The information summarized health information of 18 patients and included their contact details, medical condition, and the support required in their home.

Wairarapa DHB communications boss Anna Cardno said Wairarapa DHB took patient confidentiality extremely seriously.

She said there was no medication details in patient summary sheets.

Ms Cardno said files were not usually removed from Wairarapa Hospital by staff unless they were working with the patient. She said employees did not take files home.

Police and Masterton District council had been informed in the hope someone had found the folder and would hand it in.

Ms Cardno said the patients involved had been contacted and support was being provided “as appropriate”.

She said Wairarapa DHB was “deeply concerned about the incident” and an immediate assessment of procedures and practice was underway.
Any person with any information about the missing files can contact the police directly or phone Nursing Director Michele Halford on (06) 946 9800.

1 COMMENT

  1. Let’s be honest, is anyone really surprised by this?. If procedures were followed this would never have happened but as usual they weren’t.

Comments are closed.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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