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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Maidstone patients' letters delivered to wrong address in Loose Road instead of Grove Park Surgery for 10 years

30 May 2014
by Claire McWethy

Confidential patient records are among hundreds of letters delivered to a Maidstone home for 10 years.

The detached property in Loose Road was occupied by Grove Park Surgery - thought to have had more than 2,000 patients on its books - until May 2003. It was sold and became a house the following year.

Since then, post addressed to Dr Gopal Sinha and other staff has arrived on an almost daily basis - with much of it going in the bin.

Just some of the surgery mail that has been delivered to a house in Loose Road, Maidstone

Just some of the surgery mail that has been delivered to a house in Loose Road, Maidstone

Among the hoard are many envelopes marked private and confidential. It is believed test results and appointment arrangements are also among the mail.

The homeowner, who does not want to be named, alerted the surgery by passing on mail through a mutual friend who works at its new Sutton Road location.

But after several years when the problem continued he started binning it instead.

He contacted the General Medical Council in 2010, but was told it did not deal with complaints about patients' personal information.

He was directed to West Kent Primary Care Trust, but decided not to pursue his grievance.

Grove Park Surgery is now in Sutton Road, Maidstone

Grove Park Surgery is now in Sutton Road, Maidstone

The man, who has recently sold up and moved abroad, said he began dumping the letters because he "had enough after giving them back for two years with nothing being done".

"There must have been about 20kg of letters," he said. "I felt terrible about it, but it is not up to me to chase the proper people."

A spokesman for NHS England said it would be reviewing the situation and would take robust action if needed.

They added: "We take the safeguarding of patient data very seriously and expect all GP practices to comply with their duty to protect patient confidentiality and to manage information sensitively."

The surgery’s former home in Loose Road, Maidstone

The surgery’s former home in Loose Road, Maidstone

John Stevenson, the new practice manager at the Grove Park Surgery in Sutton Road, said Dr Sinha had closed the old premises with the full involvement of a consultation process carried out by the primary care trust.

He added: "At all times Dr Sinha strives to ensure proper care for his patients and believes he has acted appropriately and professionally and with proper regard for the confidentiality of his patients and staff."

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