MEDICAL records of hundreds of thousands of NHS patients were dumped in a town centre to weigh down scaffolding.
They were meant to be shredded but instead used as ballast for an art festival structure.
Confidential data thought to be from GPs and pharmacies was only partly destroyed and was still legible.
Some of the forms had come loose and were blowing around in the street — visible to shoppers. The patients, from across Britain, have all potentially been exposed to fraud or ID theft.
At least 40 blocks of letters were visible.
Shopper Aiden Birch, 36, said: “I could see prescription forms and there were clear names and addresses and details of surgery. It is disgusting. You can see people’s private information.”
The four-storey structure forms part of the annual Festival of Urban Living outside the intu shopping centre in Milton Keynes.
Designers specified recyclable material should be used as ballast to protect the piece from winds. It is understood organisers contacted CS Recycling in Hertfordshire, which sent cut and part-shredded paper.
most read in uk news
The council was “appalled” and said: “We immediately covered the bales and arranged for their removal.”
Lib Dem MP and former health minister Norman Lamb said: “Clearly there haven’t been proper controls in place to avoid this sort of extraordinary public leak.”
CS Recycling marketing manager Emma Curtis said the firm “solely organised the recycling of the bales, not the destruction of the data contained within the bales”.
- GOT a news story? RING us on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]