Unite the Union

Unite the Union

December 11, 2007 06:50 ET

Unite demand inquiry into how PCT 'accidentally' sent out thousands of staff's personal details

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 12, 2007) - Unite, the UK's largest trade union, is calling on Sefton PCT to launch an urgent investigation into how thousands of its staff details were 'accidentally' sent to four different organisations.

Unite is outraged that personal details of every staff member, including their names, dates of birth, National Insurance numbers, salary and pension details, were sent to four organisations that were bidding for NHS services, in Sefton PCT's Sexual Health Department.

Further insult has been added to injury because the PCT is stating that because of commercial confidentiality they are protecting the identity of the four bidding organisations that received the details.

The Chief Executive of Sefton PCT has sent a letter to all staff apologising for the 'accidental 'release of their personal data. However, the union is demanding an investigation into this clear breach of the Data Protection Act.

Staff at the trust are concerned as they know that if this data falls in the wrong hands it contains all the information needed to commit identity fraud because of the specific personal details sent out. The union fears that they will still be vulnerable to fraud and will be instructing all members to take any necessary precautions by examining their bank accounts to protect themselves, and change passwords to their accounts.

Kevin Coyne, Unite National Officer for Health, said:
"It is disgraceful that an organisation trusted to protect the highly personal and sensitive medical details of thousands of patients can expose their staff in such a dangerous way and then deny them the information of where the information has been illegally sent.

"This is a clear breach of the data protection law and if it was an accident, an inquiry must be launched into how and why such sensitive information was passed on to so many external organisations."

"Our members are rightfully very concerned and deserve reassurance.

"To add insult to injury, the trust will not tell staff the names of the organisations which have their information owing to the confidential nature of their tendering process."

Contact Information

  • Kevin Coyne
    07798 531006
    Unite Press Office
    Ashraf Choudhury
    020 7420 8914 or 07980 224761