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.

22 September 2017
Appeal Issued Over Hit And Run In West Belfast
Police are appealing for information following a hit and run incident in west Belfast. The incident happened on the Suffolk Road on Friday, 15 September. The PSNI are seeking to trace a silver or grey car that was involved in the collision. A pedestrian was injured and had to receive hospital treatment.
31 March 2015
Man Shot In Face Discharged From Hospital
A man who was shot in the face in north Belfast on Sunday night has been discharged from hospital. The victim had to undergo emergency surgery following the attack. Two men forced their way into the man's home in St James Mews, and as he tried to get away, he was shot in the face. Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.
12 January 2006
Emergency surgery facilities to be axed from Lagan Valley
Emergency surgery facilities are to be axed from the Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn from next month. The Eastern Health and Social Services Board decided to cut the facilities as part of a plan to develop the hospital as a special centre for elective surgery.
18 April 2003
Man arrested following stabbing outside school
A man has been arrested in connection to a stabbing incident in Co Antrim yesterday. The man, in his late 20's, was arrested after two youths were stabbed outside a primary school in Ballymena yesterday morning. The two youth's, aged 19 and 17, were taken to Antrim Area Hospital for treatment on their injuries.
07 August 2017
Alliance Leader Naomi Long To Undergo Surgery For Endometriosis
Alliance Party leader, Naomi Long, is to undergo surgery for aggressive endometriosis. In a statement, Ms Long revealed she was originally meant to be admitted in January, however the collapse of the Assembly and the General Election postponed her plans.
03 March 2015
Children's Heart Surgery In NI Ends
Northern Ireland's Health Minister Jim Wells has confirmed he has formally accepted proposals for a single, all-Ireland children's heart surgery centre to be based in Dublin. The decision by Minister Wells means the current service at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) is to stop.
25 November 2014
Ulster's Chris Henry Undergoes Surgery
Ulster Rugby player Chris Henry has undergone surgery after he was discovered to have suffered a blocked blood vessel in his brain. The 30-year-old was named as part of the Ireland team due to face South Africa in Dublin on 8 November earlier this month, but hours before the match, he was omitted from the squad.
14 October 2014
Children's Heart Surgery To Cease
Children's heart surgery in Northern Ireland will be transferred from Belfast to Dublin as part of a new all-Ireland approach, Health Minister Jim Wells has said.
09 December 2013
All-Island Children's Heart Surgery Assessment Announced
A team of experts is to carry out an independent assessment of children's heart surgery on an all-Ireland basis.
05 January 2012
Man Undergoes Surgery After Gun Attack
A man has undergone surgery after being injured in a shooting in West Belfast last night. Two men in masks broke into a house in the Aspen Walk area at around 7pm last night. A 28-year-old man who was at the property at the time was shot in the leg before the men made off.
02 September 2010
Two NI Hospitals Score Poorly For Hip Replacement Surgery
Two hospitals in Northern Ireland have scored very poorly in a nationwide survey for hip replacement surgery. The survey, carried out for the Royal College of Surgeons, showed the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) in Belfast treated 63% of hip surgery patients within 48 hours compared to the national average of 81%.
13 March 2009
Polish Pizza Gun Victim 'Recovering' After Surgery
On the same day as the bodies of the two soldiers shot dead in Antrim last weekend were being flown back home to England, it was announced that one of the pizza delivery men seriously injured by Real IRA gunmen during the same deadly attack is recovering well.
14 August 2007
Dental Surgery Damaged In West Belfast Blaze
A dental surgery has been badly damaged and a derelict house has been gutted in a fire in west Belfast. The Fire and Rescue Service arrived at the scene and six fire engines were involved in tackling the blaze, which took a number of hours to bring under control. The blaze was discovered at around 8.00pm at the Andersonstown Road premises.
27 March 2007
Doctor’s bag stolen from surgery car park
Detectives in West Belfast are appealing for information after a doctor’s bag was stolen from a car in west Belfast. The window of the blue Mercedes car was smashed and the bag which contained drugs, a blank prescription pad and a number of other items were taken. The incident happened shortly after 12.
07 November 2006
NI surgery waiting times at all time low
Health Minister Paul Goggins has today said that no patient in Northern Ireland is currently waiting more than nine months for surgery.