Doctor accused of misplacing records

A journalist found sensitive documents mixed with household waste on open ground in a Cavan housing estate. Photograph: Getty Images

A journalist found sensitive documents mixed with household waste on open ground in a Cavan housing estate. Photograph: Getty Images

Mon, Feb 11, 2013, 00:00

A case of professional misconduct has opened against a doctor accused of taking home sensitive clinical documents which ended up alongside household refuse on waste ground in Cavan town.

Dr Ogbonna Anoke was accused today of taking home the documents on one or more occasions between January 1st and August 7th, 2010. He was also accused of failing to dispose of them adequately and of leaving them behind in the house where he had lived after he moved out.

The Medical Council fitness to practise inquiry was told a journalist Sandra MacLiammoir had discovered medical documents on open ground in housing estate at Swellan, Cavan town on August 7th, 2010.

Ms MacLiammoir told the inquiry she ascertained a lot of the documents mixed with household waste referred to Dr Anoke.

She contacted Cavan County Council and the material was examined by litter warden Gerry O’Rourke who also found material including a Ryanair boarding pass, personal letters and material from a debt collection agency all of which referred to Dr Anoke.

Mr O’Rourke also found clinical records from the hospital including radiology reports and theatre reports which named patients and contained details of their treatments. Mr O’Rourke photographed the waste.

Counsel for the Medical Council said evidence would be given that Cavan and Monaghan General Hospital carried out an inquiry to which Dr Anoke submitted that he had vacated his then home in June 2010 and had inadvertently left two black bags of refuse there which had not been properly disposed of.

Patients whose records were affected were contacted and Dr Anoke has apologised to them.