NHS staff lose 60 hospital keys in five years

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SCOTTISH medical staff have lost dozens of hospital keys over the past five years.

New figures have revealed that medical staff lost the keys or fobs to 60 doors in hospitals that could contain potentially private and sensitive patient information.

Fears have now been raised that patient records could be exposed to thieves or any member of the public.

 

More than 1,000 items have been stolen from hospital offices and wards over the past three years.

The figures, revealed by a Freedom of Information request, show that over 60 keys and fobs have been lost and that this is the most common lost item by staff.

Margaret Watt of the Scottish Patients Association said: “Lost keys and fobs can lead to potential security breaches, especially if it has a marking for what it will give access to.

“There’s so much being stolen in hospitals and if you add keys into the equation that only allows thieves to get to it quicker.”

This information follows recent reports that £250,000 worth of goods is stolen every year from hospitals in Scotland.

More than 1,000 items have been stolen from hospital offices and wards over the past three years bringing the cost to the NHS to around £250,000.

Medical equipment including wheelchairs, ventilators, computers and thousands of pounds worth of patient’s personal belongings are among the stolen items.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Scotland’s biggest health board, revealed that £85,607 worth of IT equipment had gone missing since 2009.

Several incidences of patient record or files being lost have also been recorded.

Three incidents alone occurred at NHS Forth Valley in 2007.

Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour MSP, said: “It is of real concern that sensitive material like patients record and even keys are being lost this frequently.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “Incidents of lost property are a matter for individual health boards.

“However, we take security in hospitals and the confidentiality of patient data very seriously and any breach is completely unacceptable.”

A spokeswoman for NHS Forth Valley said: “If information goes missing we carry out a thorough investigation.”

 

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