Bookmark and Share
04/02/2010

Access Denied To Stolen GP Records

There is little chance of personal medical records stolen in Co Down over Christmas being read by the thieves.

The break-in happened at the surgery of Drs Hannah and McGoldrick at Pound Lane, Downpatrick, over the Christmas period, but the details of 5,400 patients on two computer hard disk drives and several DVDs were securely encrypted.

The news has only today been revealed with the South Health and Social Care Board insisting that security measures on the disks and the fact the DVDs were encrypted, made it unlikely the files could be accessed.

The police are investigating the theft of the records, and have also been probing an earlier blaze at the surgery, on 9 November, when thousands of patient files at the same practice were damaged in a fire.

It has also emerged that there was another fire at the surgery just over a week later.
News Image
SDLP Health spokesperson Conall McDevitt said the Minister for Health Michael McGimpsey should order a review of data security in GP surgeries following the theft of the patient records

"Investigation of this incident should not be left at the level of the Board. People across the north are entitled to reassurance about security features to prevent unauthorized access.

"But there is also the issue of back-up disks being kept at the same location as the original information. It is very serious that the Board has been unable to reconstruct important patient information from other sources," he said.

"I understand there have been incidents of arson at other practices in the area, with the potential for total loss of information.

"The Minister should review data security systems for all GP surgeries and other holders of medical information both from the point of view of potential unauthorized access and sensible back-up and data recovery at separate locations," he concluded.

(BMcC/GK)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

18 May 2017
Four Injured After Death Drivers Cause Collision In West Belfast
Police are appealing for information after four people were injured after death drivers caused a crashed in west Belfast. The collision happened in the Bell Steel Road area in Poleglass at around 11.30pm on Wednesday, 17 May. A silver coloured Nissan Micra is believed to have been involved and caused substantial damage to a Renault Clio.
17 May 2017
Police Appeal For Missing Man Sam Comber
Police are appealing for information to help trace missing man Sam Comber. He went missing from the Cullion area of L'Derry on Sunday, 14 May. Mr Comber was last seen in the Ice Wharf on Sunday afternoon. Police are becoming increasingly concerned for his welfare and are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.
23 March 2017
Drugs Worth £250,000 Seized During Property Searches
Drugs worth an estimated street value of £250,000 have been recovered by police during searches at three properties in Templepatrick, Newtownabbey and Bangor.
22 March 2017
Explosion In Strabane Was An 'Attempt To Kill' Police - PSNI
The PSNI have said an explosion in Strabane, Co Tyrone, was an "attempt to kill" police officers. A device exploded in Townsend Street at around 8.30pm on Tuesday, 21 March. Detectives are dealing with an ongoing security alert and have sealed off the area.
10 March 2017
Murder Investigation Launched After Man's Body Found In Lurgan
Police have launched a murder investigation after a man was found dead at a house in Lurgan. Paul Gerard Curran's body was found in the Manor Drive area at around 2.50pm on Thursday, 09 March. He was 29-years-old. A post mortem examination is to be carried out to determine the cause of death.
08 March 2017
Appeal Launched After 'Dangerous' Prisoner Fails To Return To Jail
Police are appealing for information on the whereabouts of a "dangerous" prisoner who failed to return to Maghaberry Prison in Lisburn. Michael Lawrence Smith, aged 38, was mistakenly released from jail on Tuesday, 07 March, and has failed to return. He is currently on remand for murder.
06 March 2017
Crimewatch Appeal: Shot PSNI Officer Thought He Was Going To Die
A police officer who was shot in north Belfast in January has revealed he thought he was going to die. The officer sustained serious injuries after he suffered two gunshot wounds to his arm during the attack on the forecourt of a petrol station on the Crumlin Road on Sunday, 22 January.
01 March 2017
New Ad Campaign Launched To Encourage Reporting Of Drug Dealing
A major ad campaign has been launched urging the public to report drug dealing to Crimstoppers. The campaign, which will feature viral videos alongside bus, adshel, online and radio advertising, aims to highlight the damage drugs do to individuals, families and communities.
28 February 2017
Shots Fired At House In L'Derry
A number of people have escaped injury following a shooting attack at a house in Co L'Derry. The incident happened in the Cornshell Fields area shortly after 11pm on Monday, 27 February. No one is believed to have been injured.
27 February 2017
Man Who Died Following Attack In Newtownards Named
A man who died after being attacked in Newtownards on Sunday, 26 February, has been named as Richard Miskelly, aged 24. The assault on the Bangor Road was reported shortly after 5.30am and emergency services attended the scene, however he died a short time later.
26 January 2017
Almost 900 Patients Wait Over 12 Hours At Emergency Department's
Almost 900 patients waited more than 12 hours at hospital emergency departments in Northern Ireland in December, according to figures from the Department of Health. The patients were either waiting to be treated, discharged or admitted. A total of 62,094 people attended emergency departments, a rise of 3,360 from the previous year.
24 May 2017
Retailers Warned Over Money Changing Scams
The PSNI have issued a warning to retailers to be aware following recent money changing scams in Northern Ireland. It is understood that the exchange often takes place when a number of people enter a business premises asking to change large notes into smaller ones.
16 May 2017
PSNI Attacked By Youths In L'Derry
The PSNI have been attacked by youths throwing stones at police vehicles in L'Derry. The incident happened as officers were searching a property in the Carnhill area on Sunday, 14 May.
15 May 2017
Warning Issued After Cyber Attack
The PSNI have issued a warning to businesses not to open suspicious emails following a cyber attack on Friday, 12 May, which affected more than 200,000 people in 150 countries.
30 March 2017
UUP Raises Concerns For Cancer Patients
The UUP has raised concerns for cancer patients after recent statistics revealed waiting times had not been reached. UUP spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, was speaking after the latest publication of cancer waiting time figures by the Department of Health.