A leak of confidential medical information about Sir Alex Ferguson at Salford Royal Hospital was caused by a personal file being left in public view at a reception desk, it was claimed today.
The claim follows reports at the weekend that two doctors, a senior consultant and at least two nurses were accused of accessing the former Manchester United manager’s records during his stay at the hospital in May. Salford Royal has apologised for the incident.
Now, the reason the sensitive information was made public has been revealed. A source, who asked not to be named, told Salford Now: “This isn’t supposed to happen, they shouldn’t know that stuff, especially with someone as high profile as him.”
They added the Manchester United legend’s confidential medical information was “left in clear view for members of the public to see”.
Ferguson, 76, was admitted to the hospital earlier this year following a brain hemorrhage at his home in Cheshire.
The source said: “When Mr Ferguson came in, everyone knew it was on the news.
“Information governance reminders were sent out but protocol was not followed…handovers were being left in clear view of other staff members and potential patients.
“A member of staff not responsible for his care told other employees about Ferguson’s whereabouts in hospital.”
The hospital apologised to Ferguson earlier today following allegations in the Sunday Times that staff at the hospital had breached patient confidentiality.
In a statement Dr Chris Brookes, Chief Medical Officer for the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, said: “We can confirm that a number of staff who work at Salford Royal are currently subject to investigation in relation to an information governance breach.
“These investigations are ongoing with the individuals concerned and are to determine if they have accessed a patient’s record electronically without a clinical requirement or authorisation to do so.
He added that the hospital has apologised unreservedly to the patient and their family.
Mr Brookes went on to say: “All of our patients have the right to expect that their information will be looked after securely and accessed appropriately.
“We take patient confidentiality extremely seriously. We review our systems to ensure that they support the highest standards of patient confidentiality and will take the appropriate action to ensure staff understand the seriousness of unauthorised access.”