An NHS Foundation Trust faces a fine of up to £500,000 after notes containing confidential information about 25 patients were found in the street.
Details included patient names, ages, medical history, specialist information, mobility, dietary requirement, hygiene, home circumstances and discharge plan. The documents showed the name of the person who printed them out — at 6.33pm the day before — and said “please destroy paper copy at the end of every shift”.
Bosses at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust have launched an investigation and said they have apologised to all patients and carers.
The data breach has been passed to the Information Commissioner which has said it will “determine an appropriate response”. The commissioner has the power to issue monetary penalty notices of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act.
A spokesperson for the ICO said: “We have been made aware of a possible data breach.
“We will be making enquiries into the circumstances of the alleged breach of the Data Protection Act before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken.”