Patients’ medical details have been found dumped in a bin near Tunbridge Wells. The confidential information of patients, along with medical waste was found scattered across a road and in a public bin in Pembury.
The “beyond astonishing” discovery was made by villager Patrick Gillan, who desperately tried to gather up the papers as they blew up the road.
Patients’ names, dates of birth, unique NHS numbers and hospital numbers were on papers and other items, he said.
One item appeared to be an empty IV solution bag, showing numerous personal details including the patient’s name, his date of birth, his NHS number, precisely what he was being given via the drip and the quantities, what ward he was on, and his consultant’s name.
Mr Gillan was so concerned about the security breach and threat to patients’ privacy, he returned to where he had found it in Lower Green Road to check the public bin and to his horror found more waste inside.
The Pembury parish councillor and former healthcare manager took the waste immediately to his GP surgery Waterfield House Practice where staff said they would report it as a “significant event”.
Other items Mr Gillan discovered late morning on Monday (February 13) near the Maidstone Road junction were what he believed to be unused blood bags, along with used blue infection control gloves, wet wipes, empty medicine cartridges and a plastic folder with patients’ details.
The NHS told Kent Live it took patient confidentiality “extremely seriously” and was firstly working to establish where the waste had come from.
Mr Gillan, 61, said: “The papers were blowing about in the wind, across the whole road, up the grass embankments, in the kerb. I was absolutely gobsmacked.
“It was a wee bit windy, so clearly it had not long happened and blowing out of the bin up the street.”