Other News In Brief

Nursing Home Fined Following Data Breach

Alliance East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson has said "lessons must be learned" after a nursing home was fined following a data breach.

An unencrypted laptop containing sensitive personal details about patients and staff was stolen in a burglary after being taken home by a member of staff at Whitehead Nursing Home.

The computer held medical information on 29 residents, including mental and physical health statuses, as well as data relating to 46 staff, including reasons for sickness absence and information about disciplinary matters.

The Information Commissioner's Office has fined the nursing home £15,000.

Mr Dickson said: "All businesses and employers can use examples in this incident to see what not to do as regards sensitive personal data but that is especially the case for those in the health sector, who are often relied upon with the strictest of confidential information."

SF Meets With DC Power Over Proposed Tidal Energy Project In Co Antrim

Sinn Fein has met with representatives from energy firm DC Power following concerns over a proposed tidal energy project in Co Antrim.

Mr Oliver McMullun MLA and Caoimhe Archibald said the community in the East Antrim area were concerned about the impact of the proposed project on Fairhead and Murlough Bay where the cables would come ashore.
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Mr McMullun said: "This is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and and development in the area would have to take that into account and be sensitive to the local environment.

"I will continue to raise the concerns of the local community in relation to this proposal to ensure the environment is protected."

Rise In Number Of People On Hospital Waiting Lists

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson Jo-Anne Dobson MLA has expressed her anger after it was revealed the number of people trapped on a hospital waiting list in Northern Ireland has continued to spiral upwards over the last 12 months.

She said: "It is outrageous that 225,000 outpatients and 70,000 inpatients are trapped on a hospital waiting list, with a further 96,000 people waiting for essential diagnostic tests or results at local hospitals.

"Irrespective of the sheer scale of these figures, which at a total of 392,000 now represents more than 1 in 5 of the total local population, we must never forget that these represent 392,000 individual stories of anxiety and often unbearable agony.

"Targets for treatment exist because it is very widely accepted that the longer patients are forced to wait for treatment the greater harm they may ultimately come to. The number of people who are waiting far longer than is medically safe has now grown to an unprecedented and terrifyingly high level.

"As the current situation is now significantly worse than what is was a year ago, it demonstrates that the Executive's haphazard response of ineptly throwing varying amounts of money at the problem is simply not working."


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