More than half a million pieces of NHS medical correspondence including blood and biopsy test results and prescription information were lost between 2011 and 2016, it was reported today.
Clinical negligence expert & Partner, Tim Gray says hundreds of people across the region could be affected by the data loss which has sparked an investigation into the potential harm to patients.
A report in The Guardian newspaper this week said that NHS Shared Businesses Services, the company charged with transporting the confidential NHS correspondence, stored the information in a warehouse instead of sending from hospitals to GPs.
Tim said it could 'take years' before the true level of harm is discovered.
"This is a data loss by the NHS on an unprecedented scale and the real cost to patients may never be known. How many patients were seen by GPs who were unwittingly unaware of hospital test results? How many have been prescribed medication based on wrong information?
"NHS England has already identified 2,500 cases where further investigation is required, but this could be the tip of the iceberg. Patients have a right to expect that their medical treatment is based on an accurate medical history - in thousands of cases, this may not have happened.
NHS Shared Business Services is co-owned by the Department of Health and the French company Sopra Steria.
For further advice, please contact Tim on 01902 393474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.