Hospital trust said it is treating matter “very seriously”

THE trust that runs Basingstoke hospital has now confirmed that it has referred a possible breach of confidential information to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), after publishing personal details online of women whose babies had died.

The matter came to light after the Gazette spotted the information in online meeting papers which were listed as ‘restricted’, and included sensitive and private details including previous miscarriages and pregnancy terminations of three women who had suffered stillbirths. 

These could be freely accessed online by anyone, as well as downloaded or printed, and were published online for several weeks.

The information was included within a review of stillbirths at the trust. Three reviews were published in two different documents in June and July, providing details including the date and time of the stillbirth, the women’s age and BMI, the gender and weight of their baby, and detailed medical history including previous miscarriages and pregnancy terminations, as well as an in-depth report of their pregnancy and birth.

The papers were taken down by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) today, and we were told it was looking into the matter.

The trust, which runs Basingstoke and Andover hospitals, has now confirmed it has reported the matter to the ICO.

Malcolm Ace, chief financial officer for HHFT, said: “The privacy of our patients is of the utmost importance to the trust and we are taking this matter very seriously. As Senior Information Risk Officer, I have referred this to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a potential breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 and we will act quickly on any and all recommendations given.”

The Gazette has asked if the women affected will be informed.

You can read the full story here, as well as reaction from a midwife at a stillbirth charity here.

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