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Full investigation into NHSO leak ‘essential’ says McArthur

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur.

It is “essential” that the leak of 51 patients’ personal information by NHS Orkney is fully investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office, according to Orkney MSP Liam McArthur.

Mr McArthur said that patients had every the right to feel let down by this “serious breach”, after it was revealed that the personal details — including swab results — of dozens of patients who were tested for COVID-19 in Orkney were inadvertently sent to a local business.

NHS Orkney has apologised for the “administrative error”, which it described as an “isolate incident”. The health authority said that the matter had been subject to an internal investigation and has also been reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Responding to the news of the leak and the statement by NHS Orkney, Mr McArthur said: “This is a serious breach, involving highly sensitive, personal data.

“Those directly affected have every right to feel let down, but there will be understandable and legitimate concerns felt more widely within Orkney as a result of what has happened.

“It is essential, therefore, that the matter is now fully investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office and NHS Orkney so that lessons can be learned and urgent steps taken to avoid any repeat in future.”