A SCOTTISH patient was horrified to read he had cancer, diabetes and had suffered a stroke – before realising he had been given the wrong medical notes.
The chef, from Methil, in Fife, was handed the confidential medical files at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy after being admitted for investigative work into a long-term medical problem.
After flicking through the medical files with his name on the front, the startled 28-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, found himself reading about heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cancer.
After a moment of shock, the anxious patient discovered they actually belonged to an elderly patient in the neighbouring bed.
After angrily confronting a nurse, the man claims he was told ‘let’s keep this quiet’.
The man, who has asked not to be named, was admitted into hospital on Wednesday morning for an assessment into unexplained abdominal pains.
Despite being admitted to the hospitals emergency admissions ward, the patient claims he waited nine hours, received no treatment, and ended up walking out in disgust.
He said: “As far as I’m concerned the Victoria Hospital is absolutely pathetic.
“I’ve had long-term medical problems which they haven’t been able to get to the bottom of. I ended up in the emergency ward at the hospital at 10.30am last Wednesday.
“I was left on a trolley in admissions two for two hours and was then moved on to a sear because I was told I was ‘not ill enough’.
“They then brought in some drunk with a head wound, which made me feel like a second-class citizen.
“But then when I was given a bed back on the admissions unit, I discovered they had mixed up my notes with those of another patient.
“The front page had my name on it and I decided to flick through to waste some time.
“But I started reading about heart attacks, diabetes, strokes and cancer.
“It turned out I was reading things about someone that I just shouldn’t know.
“It was a shocking breach of patient confidentiality. When I raised this with a nurse, she said: ‘Let’s keep this quiet.’
The man said at 7.30pm he had still not been seen by a doctor or had any tests. He told a nurse he had ‘had enough’ and was going home.
He said: “The nurse replied: ‘That’s fine. We’ll see you as an outpatient’. But how can they treat me as an outpatient if they don’t know what is wrong with me?”
Caroline Inwood, NHS Fife director for the operational division, said: “We cannot comment on individual cases.
“We are committed to doing our best for every patient in our care and we take patient confidentiality very seriously.
“We would ask any patient who has concerns to make contact with the senior charge nurse on the ward so that they are able to deal with concerns at the time.”