July 14, 2008

Medical Records ‘Found at Site’

A HEALTH board launched an investigation today into reports that confidential patient information was found in a derelict hospital.

X-rays with patients' names, photographs and other paperwork are said to have been discovered at Law Hospital, near Carluke, Lanarkshire.

NHS Lanarkshire said inquiries were under way and it had started a full search of the site to clarify the details of any data.

Reports said that the documents came to light when amateur photographer Brian Whittle sent shots of the hospital to the BBC .

In a statement, NHS Lanarkshire said when Law Hospital was vacated, "extensive checks" were undertaken at the site.

A spokeswoman said: " We are taking this situation extremely seriously and will launch a full investigation if patient clinical information has been found at that site."

Law Hospital was built in 1939 as an emergency medical service hospital. It closed in 2001.

In January plans were announced to build 500 homes on the derelict site in a GBP100m development.

A Scottish Government spokesman said health secretary Nicola Sturgeon was "concerned" to hear the claims .

He added: "The cabinet secretary has asked the board to provide her with full details of the situation as quickly as possible."

Liberal Democrat MSP Robert Brown demanded a probe into all former hospital buildings to ensure no patient data had been left open to public view.

He said: "Patients have been badly let down."

Originally published by Newsquest Media Group.

(c) 2008 Evening Times; Glasgow (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.