Hospital apologises to patients over medical records found in estate

Patient shocked as name and date of birth found in refuse sack of confidential hospital records

Mayo hospitla. Photograph: Google Maps

Mayo hospitla. Photograph: Google Maps


Management at Mayo University Hospital have apologised in writing to a number of former patients whose confidential medical records were found in a housing estate.

The personal data found discovered in a refuse sack in Castlebar related to patients recently discharged from the hospital.

Refuse staff attached to Mayo County Council made the find earlier this month. The council immediately alerted hospital management.

In their letter, hospital management apologised for the breach of confidentiality and said, “Corrective measures have been put in place to prevent such an incident from ever happening again”. The hospital said the matter has been reported to the HSE and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

One of the patients affected, a middle-aged man who lives in Castlebar, said he was “shocked” at the disclosure. “I was told that the bag which was found contained some information which clearly identified me such as my name and date of birth as well as other details”, he said.