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HIV patients’ email addresses made public in NHS Highland privacy breach | UK News



A review has been launched at a health board after the email addresses of almost 40 people living with HIV were made public by accident.

NHS Highland sent out an email with the addresses of 37 patients visible along with an invitation to a support group run by a sexual health clinic at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

The board has now contacted each of the patients who received the email.

It said in a statement: “NHS Highland deeply regrets that this breach of confidentiality has happened and we have contacted patients individually to apologise.

“As per normal procedure, a formal internal review is being conducted to understand how this has happened and to consider any steps to avoid this happening in future.”

Chief executive of HIV Scotland, Nathan Sparling, said the breach would have caused people distress.

He said: “This kind of leak is unacceptable and it is only right that NHS Highland have reached out to those affected and apologised.

“Confidentiality is of paramount importance when it comes to people living with HIV, and the decision to disclose their status should be theirs and theirs alone.

“People affected by this leak will be understandably distressed and HIV Scotland stands ready to support all those affected.”

He added: “I am pleased that NHS Highland have instigated a swift investigation.

“There must be strict safeguards put in place to ensure that this sort of thing never happens again.”

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