Around 780 HIV patients from the sexual health clinic, 56 Dean Street, have had their personal details disclosed in an email sent in an “administrative error”
The personal email addresses of around 780 patients at London’s busiest sexual health clinic have been leaked via an email. A newsletter was sent to HIV patients of the clinic which disclosed names and emails addresses to everyone on the list.
The clinic immediately apologised for the mistake and have started an investigation into how the breach happened. A helpline has been set up by the clinic for patients who are worried about the exposure.
Dr Alan McOwan, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS trust’s director for sexual health said in his apology,
“I’m writing to apologise to you. This morning at around 11.30am we sent you the latest edition of OptionE newsletter.
This is normally sent to individuals on an individual basis but unfortunately we sent out today’s email to a group of email addresses. We apologise for this error.
“We recalled/deleted the email as soon as we realised what had happened. If it is still in your inbox please delete it immediately.
Clearly this is completely unacceptable. We are urgently investigating how this has happened and I promise you that we will take steps to ensure it never happens again. We will send you the outcome of the investigation.”
Concerns have been raised about how the leaked email addresses could be used, including typing the addresses into Facebook to find out a full profile, including pictures and other personal details.
“We can confirm that due to an administrative error, a newsletter about services at 56 Dean Street was sent to an email group rather than individual recipients.
We have immediately contacted all the email recipients to inform them of the error and apologise. Any concerned patients can call 020 3315 9555 and 020 3315 9594.”