A DENTIST surgery in Basingstoke which was accused of passing on confidential information about a patient has apologised.
As previously reported, an investigation was launched by Damira Dental Studios, in South Ham, after it was alleged to have passed on information to the Gazette about Basingstoke mum Louise Elliott.
Louise got in touch with the Gazette after being unable to access an NHS appointment with Damira, having suffered with excruciating pain caused by broken teeth.
The 36-year-old, from Oakridge Road, said she was in agony but had been unable to see her dentist at Damira as an NHS patient, despite trying for months.
When the Gazette contacted Damira for a comment, the woman who answered the phone gave us seemingly confidential information about Louise, including the number of appointments she had booked, those she had missed, and details of emergency appointments and check-ups.
She also told us that Louise had been taken off the books as an NHS patient after failing to attend nine appointments since 2013.
Louise, however, said she had never been informed of this.
Dr Anushika Brogan, managing and clinical director at Damira, said the investigation had now concluded.
Speaking to the Gazette, she said: “We have investigated the claims and apologised to the patient for the information that was given.”
Louise told us that Fiona Arnold, deputy practice manager, contacted her this week, after the Gazette asked for an update, to say the investigation has concluded, and that no action will be taken.
She said: “They did apologise for the information given but kept trying to blame the Gazette. I said I’m not happy with the decision because they have given out my information. They won’t do anything about it.”
Louise said the surgery then offered her an NHS appointment to see a dentist this week.
“She gave me her number so I can get through directly,” said Louise, adding: “I deserve compensation. How many other people have they done this to? I’m not the only one angry about this situation, there were lots of negative comments from others. The lady who gave out the information should be sacked.”
A spokesperson from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) confirmed that it had not received a data breach report from Damira.
However, they said not all data breaches need to be reported to the ICO, explaining: “Organisations must notify the ICO within 72 hours of becoming aware of a personal data breach, unless it does not pose a risk to people’s rights and freedoms.
“If an organisation decides that a breach doesn’t need to be reported they should keep their own record of it and be able to explain why it wasn’t reported if necessary.
“All organisations using personal data should do so safely and securely. If anyone has concerns about how their data has been handled, they can report these concerns to the ICO.”
NHS England has been asked for a comment.