By Tony Collins
16 Nov 2009
An NHS trust at the forefront of work on the 12.7bn NHS IT scheme has
called in police after a breach of smartcard security compromised the
confidentiality of hundreds of electronic records.
Patients in Hull have expressed their dismay that an unauthorised NHS
employee has accessed their confidential records; and the local primary
care trust, NHS Hull, says it is "shocked" at the breach of security by
a member of staff who has since left.
Details of the breach emerged as health officials in London were, in an
unrelated event, telling journalists about the start of a roll-out of
electronic records across London, as part of the National Programme for
The roll-out is part of plans by the Department of Health to create for
50 million people in England an electronic "summary" medical record on a
central database run by BT.
But doctors say that the breach of security at NHS Hull shows that an
insider with a smartcard can access confidential electronic records
without authorisation, if the person is determined to do so.
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