NHS clinic reveals identities of hundreds of HIV-positive patients

An investigation has been launched after an NHS clinic mistakenly revealed the identities of hundreds of HIV-positive patients.

The 56, Dean Street clinic in London’s Soho sent a newsletter to about 780 patients on a group email, rather than to individuals.

It contained the names and email addresses of patients who had attended HIV clinics at Dean Street, which is part of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Alan McOwan, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital trust’s director for sexual health said: “Hands up. We really screwed up here and we need to get it right.”

A clinic spokesman said the mistake was caused by human error and an internal investigation had been launched.

The newsletter was sent to patients signed up to the clinic’s OptionE service, which lets people book appointments and receive test results by email.

Instead of hiding the details of those on its recipient list, it included full names and email addresses.

The clinic tried to rectify its mistake by using Microsoft Outlook’s recall feature.

This was followed by an email apology from McOwan.

A spokesman for the clinic said it was not accurate to say every patient on the list was HIV positive.


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