A break-in at St. Conal’s in Letterkenny resulted in archived physiotherapy records being removed from long-term storage and dumped on the ground outside, the Health Service Executive has confirmed.
The Donegal Democrat reported today that the medical records had been found dumped outside the derelict building known locally as St. Conal’s new wing. A concerned Letterkenny man who discovered the records while walking his dog in Letterkenny Town Park earlier this week turned them over to the Democrat on Wednesday.
The Democrat notified the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner on receipt of the documents, and turned them over to the Letterkenny General Hospital data protection officer on Thursday morning.
In a statement released on Thursday evening, the HSE said Letterkenny General Hospital was advised on June 19th that a break-in at the St. Conal’s site resulted in the archived records being removed from long-term storage and dumped in the St. Conal’s car park.
“Once this issue was brought to our attention, the HSE immediately notified the gardaí, who are currently investigating the matter,” the HSE said in their statement.
“It would appear that the offenders scaled the building and broke in through a window on the third floor,” the HSE said. “Additional security measures are currently being put in place in the building.”
The HSE said they have very clear policies in place for the storage and disposal of confidential documents, and that they take any potential breach of these policies extremely seriously.
“The hospital management deeply regrets that this unacceptable vandalism resulted in some patient physiotherapy records being dumped in the adjacent area,” the HSE said. They said the hospital is working closely with the Data Protection Commissioner and gardaí in respect of the incident.