Confidential letters containing personal patient information have been sent to the wrong people by a privately-run Nottingham NHS treatment centre.
There has been more than a dozen confirmed cases of patients getting letters from the centre, which is based at the Queens Medical Centre, that weren’t meant for them. It is understood that hundreds more people across the county could be affected.
One woman from Mapperly, who didn’t want to be named, received two letters from the centre last week, one for her, and another for somebody else.
“When I first opened the letter it looked like my normal appointment letter, and then I noticed there was a second letter in there.
“That had someone else’s name, someone else’s address and someone else’s NHS number on there.
After she had realised what had happened, the woman rung the centre and was told that the centre had received a number of calls from other people who had also been sent the wrong letter.
“They thanked me for calling and said that they would speak to the other patient, let them know and re-send the letter.”
The letter that had landed on the woman’s doorstep was for a Mr Patrick Pearce, speaking exclusively to Notts TV News after we delivered the letter to him, Mr Pearce said he was gutted, and something like this should never happen.
“I’ve not heard anything, nothing at all, they know it’s happened because the lady that got the letter told them, and I know nothing about it.
“If this letter had of gone walkabouts, I would have never of known about it. That would have been one appointment gone, and if it happens again, that’s two appointments, and I would have been struck off.”
Since speaking to Notts TV, Mr Pearce has since received a new letter from the centre.
The Nottingham NHS Treatment Centre sees over 12,000 patients a month. Since 2008, it has been run by a private company called Circle Partnership. Circle was awarded the contract to run the centre by the Rushcliffe Clinical Commissioning Group.
The General Manager at the Nottingham NHS Treatment Centre, Helen Tait, said that the centre aims for the highest standards of accuracy, confidentiality and efficiency, and in this case, they fell short.
“We had a problem with the machine that sends out appointment letters for a few days last week. This has already been fixed, but a number of patients were sent the wrong details before we spotted the issue.
“We apologise to the patients involved for this mistake.”
It is not the first time the group has come under fire for falling short with patients post. In October last year they were criticised by the trade union Unison.
After people receive treatment at the centre, a letter is posted to their GP. According to Unison, last year there was a backlog of 10,000 of these follow up letters that were taking weeks to arrive.
This came after the writing of the letters was outsourced to the Philippines leaving some patients without the medication they needed.