16 May 2008
The HSE announced yesterday (May 15 2008) that it had begun a look-back review of all chest x-rays and CT scans reported on by one locum consultant radiologist, who worked in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and Our Lady's Hospital, Navan between August 2006 and August 2007. This review is precautionary and is being done based on expert clinical advice and as a reassurance for both our patients and for our hospitals.
Letters were posted on 14th May 2008 from the hospitals to all of the patients involved, advising them that their chest x-ray or CT scan is being reviewed as part of this look back. The letters explain the reason for the look back, and confirm that each patient will be sent the result of their chest x-ray/CT scan review as soon as it is complete, over the coming 8 weeks.
Given the logistical challenge of collating and posting letters to approximately 4,500 patients simultaneously, the HSE engaged an outside company to facilitate this process. This is common practice in the health and wider public service, and is done with clear requirements to safeguard patient privacy and in compliance with data protection principles.
The HSE has learned today that a small number of letters have been misaddressed by the company who undertook this work on our behalf. The HSE is deeply disappointed at this failure to protect this very sensitive information and is in discussions with the company concerned in this regard.
We have arranged for the correct information to be resent to all patients this afternoon and our staff are arranging to collect and retrieve information that was misaddressed. We have also notified the Data Protection Commissioner.
Given the issues at hand for the people concerned with this review, the HSE would like to express its sincere apologies for this error.
Patients involved in the review can contact the HSE information line at 1850 24 1850, 10am to 6pm.
Patients can call this number to enquire about the review and to ask any questions they may have. Their call will be taken by our consumer care staff.
HSE Information Line: 1850 24 1850, open from 10am to 6pm,
Last updated on: 16 / 05 / 2008