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NHS Misplaced Millions Of Medical Documents

Update Date: Feb 28, 2017 09:00 AM EST
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The NHS England has conducted an investigation to find out how many patients have been harmed after half a million medical documents were misplaced. The 500,000 documents were not sent to GPs or filed in patients records. Instead it was filed in storage by mistake in a warehouse, most of which had cancer and blood test results.

NHS said that an estimated 2,500 patients have been affected and were possibly at risk. NHS has also identified 173 instances of likely patient harm.

So far, no evidence of patient harm has been confirmed while the NHS England investigation is ongoing. Confirmed patients that were affected are in the South West.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has denied the claims that he covered up the error. The data went undelivered for 5 years. Between 2011 and 2016, NHS Shared Business Services, a mail company that was hired by NHS failed to pass on correspondence which were sent with wrong address according to Gloucestireshire Live.

NHS Shared Business Services said it regrets the error that occurred in the East Midlands, the South West and North East London. It included blood and urine tests, treatment plans, material related to child protection cases and cancer diagnoses. They had lost 708,000 letters since 2011 according to Sky News.

An NHS England spokesperson said some correspondence forwarded to NHS SBS between 2011-2016, were not re-directed by them to GP surgeries. They were not linked to the medical record when the sender sent correspondence to the wrong GP or the patient changed practice.

A clinical team of experts reported to have already reviewed the old correspondence and it has now all been delivered to the correct practice. The NHS has spent £2.2 million so far on getting GPs to look at the returned correspondence. The Department for Health and NHS England are working hard to rectify the issue.

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