back to article Regulator says stranger entered hospital, treated a patient, took a document ... then vanished

NHS Fife is on the wrong end of a stern ticking off by Britain's data regulator after it made a howling privacy error that aided an as yet unknown person who had entered a hospital ward only to walk off with data on 14 patients. The "reprimand" [PDF] by the Information Commissioner's Office is related to an alleged breach that …

  1. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Pardon?

    "Despite the hospital operating closed circuit television cameras, the wall socket powering the system had been turned off by a member of staff"

    Pursue the installer as well as the intruder. Critical systems must never be powered in this lax fashion. At the very least, the power feed should have been to an unswitched socket with a mechanical strap to prevent the plug being withdrawn. But preferably hard wired like the fire alarms. Isn't this rather obvious?

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Pardon?

      Most likely the people who get CCTV installed want the ability for it to be turned off or tampered with. This is for their own security.

      Imagine a scenario when someone determined breaks in, goes to CCTV room and politely asks the security person to turn cameras off and erase the recordings. If they are unable to do it, then their life is at risk.

      Nobody is going to risk their life for a minimum wage.

      1. ITMA Silver badge

        Re: Pardon?

        What rubbish.

        That is precisely what you do not want in a CCTV system - the ability for people to arbitrarily disable parts or the even the whole system easily, let alone "tamper" with it.

        If they can "tamper" with it that destroys its credibility as evidence.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Pardon?

          That's correct in theory, but in practice it's all about doing hokey cokey.

          1. ITMA Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Pardon?

            Is that what you are high on - "Hokey Cokey"?

            1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

              Re: Pardon?

              How do you explain that almost always it seems to be the case when CCTV is needed, it is scrambled or missing?

              1. FIA Silver badge

                Re: Pardon?

                How do you explain that almost always it seems to be the case when CCTV is needed, it is scrambled or missing?

                It often isn't. You don't hear about the routine cases of a grey blob on a shit camera feed not being recognisable. You hear about the extreme instances where someone has fucked up more, like in this case.

                Also, like with anything in life, people are shit at assessing risk versus reward.

                "I would like a CCTV system, my insurance company says it's needed"

                "Okay, we can do this hi-def 5K system, with night vision for about 80 quid a camera, and you'll need a DVR too"

                ".... got anything cheaper...?"

                "Well, a full HD system with 4 cameras and a DVR is about 170 quid?"

                It's nothing to do with some fanciful imagined scenario from late night TV, it's to do with cash.

                Plus, in the above scenario, the insurance would still pay out, the cheaper cameras won't help them catch the criminals, but the net effect to the person who's been robbed/vandalised or whatever is still pretty much the same.

      2. emfiliane

        Re: Pardon?

        Tis the season and all, but you've been watching way too much Die Hard, my dude.

        1. parlei Bronze badge

          Re: Pardon?

          I came here to say this. Armed gunmen in hospitals are fairly rare, at least here in Europe,

          But CCTV in hospitals is problematic: what information can such a recording divulge? Would you want there to be a video of you walking into the STI screening clinic? Your weekly appointment with a therapist?

          And no, there is nothing wrong with either therapy or making sure your partner(s) can make informed decisions regarding sexual practices. But some will make hay from it, even these days.

          1. kwlf

            Re: Pardon?

            It's particularly problematic now that so many patients are in corridor beds.

      3. Filippo Silver badge

        Re: Pardon?

        Uh, making it so that someone determined knows that the easiest way to get CCTV off is by threatening staff, is exactly how you put staff at risk.

        Making it well-known that threatening them is useless as they have no way to disable CCTV, is how you protect them.

        That's why places that store valuables tend to have those prominent "the vault is timed and staff can't override it" signs.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Pardon?

          Criminal is still going to check if it is not a bluff and they can keep employee hostage until someone who can disable CCTV do it.

          1. FIA Silver badge

            Re: Pardon?

            Criminal is still going to check if it is not a bluff and they can keep employee hostage until someone who can disable CCTV do it.

            Which criminals? People aren't either criminals or 100% law abiding, with no middle ground. Violent crime is a whole different ball game to non violent crime.

            This isn't TV... if you're taking hostages you're in a whole different world not just when it comes to sentencing but to mental attitude... most criminals want a quick in and out, if the staff can't shut off the CCTV they'll run, not re-enact a scene from 24. They aren't generally highly trained martial artists or ex soldiers with a cool backstory, they're just as likely not to want to get into confrontation as the next person.

            There seems to have been around 7400 kidnapping offences in the UK for 2022/23 (The nearest I could find to hostage taking), and 250,690 reports of burglary. I would guess you're much more likely to not bother reporting a burglary over a kidnapping too. (Also bear in mind that kidnapping includes things like divorced parents taking their kids from their ex without permission, not just bungling someone into a van).

            The world is a lot safer than it appears through the lens of the media, even now.

            For example, I chuckled at a recent story, regarding the recent rise in crime in the UK, the figures were alarming, then it got pointed out they were about the level they'd been in the 1990s. A time when we used to bang on about how much safer it was since the 60s and 70s.

          2. Filippo Silver badge

            Re: Pardon?

            No, they are not, first of all because reality isn't a heist movie, but also because holding someone hostage "just in case CCTV control is a bluff" wouldn't make sense even in a heist movie. I mean, they haven't scouted the place first and researched the CCTV system? They don't want to leave CCTV evidence, but they are okay with taking hostages? And they have enough time to waste to do that just on the off-chance the prominent sign is a bluff? What kind of lazy screenwriting is that? Did ChatGPT come up with the plot?

      4. Dave@Home

        Re: Pardon?

        It's a hospital in a town in Fife, not whatever Las Vegas caper movie you think you live in

        1. Intractable Potsherd

          Re: Pardon?

          Have you never been to Kirkcaldy??

      5. druck Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Pardon?

        magine a scenario when someone determined breaks in, goes to CCTV room and politely asks the security person to turn cameras off and erase the recordings. If they are unable to do it, then their life is at risk.

        You have a switch labelled CCTV OFF which turns all the monitors off in the control room, but leaves the CCTV recording, and sets off an alarm in the local police station.

        1. ITMA Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Pardon?

          "but leaves the CCTV recording..."

          Including the cameras covering the inside of the control room - obligatory in any CCTV system large enough to have a "control room".

          It is also why CCTV systems have different levels of access. Operators don't need and shouldn't have the level of access required to disable cameras or erase recordings.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Except all that gets ignored

            Almost every CCTV setup I’ve seen has failed in basic cyber security 101, same with access control systems for doors. With Hikvision iVMS for example, one can trivially bypass the password by overwriting data which the unprivileged monitoring staff user account still needs enough user rights to be able to write to (or worse, said user account is local admin because iVMS is very poorly written leading people to think it requires that)

            1. FIA Silver badge

              Re: Except all that gets ignored

              So they've improved then?

              They used to have a hard coded admin username and password in them.

              Hard coded.

              Unchangeable.

              ...but definitely not listed in any forums on the internet or given out by any of their support staff.

            2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

              Re: Hikvision iVMS

              Useful for spotting myoclonic jerks roaming the premises.

            3. Bebu Silver badge
              Windows

              Re: Except all that gets ignored

              Hikvision? Anyone still using their cameras? Turfed out in AU - insecure and probably "trojaned" by a large nation state to the north of AU. Had to pull them out of Parliament House and government buildings a few years ago now.

              Still have one in the machine room on an isolated net to have a record of which building maintenance contractor stuffed our machines. External contractors with unaudited master key access - brilliant security no?

        2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Pardon?

          I assume there is also a locker with VCRs pretending they are recording so that the VHS tapes can be given to a criminal?

          Then somehow recordings still go missing, just to make sure the criminal won't seek revenge for being bamboozled.

          1. ITMA Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Pardon?

            VCRs??? VHS tapes???

            Where have you been?

            It is all DVRs and NVRs and PoE IP networked cameras.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pardon?

            Tell us more about your fantasy world, it's hugely amusing.

      6. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Re: Pardon?

        Congratulations! You have won this weeks award for being unable to distinguish between possibility and probability.

    2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: Pardon?

      Recording video of hospital patients is not without its privacy issues either, no?

      1. IceC0ld

        Re: Pardon?

        I spent a few years working support in most of the larger hospitals in my region, in one I had a spectacular two weeks checking through pictures of patients, in various states of undress, and basic pron, all in the name of getting the filters to try and work out what IS a patient, and therefore allowed, and what was not, it was a LONNNNG two weeks

        not trying to imply it was a good thing to do, it was necessary, but I could understand why they only put agents in for two weeks at a time :o(

        worst day, sorting A/V issue out for a room of surgeons, on their display was a patient, whose image, even to my untrained eye, was not likely to make it to a pension :o(

        it was a girl, cancer metastasis and short time frames - how Dr's do it, I do not know, how I coped, and I was only in there to fix the bloody camera set up, was to have an extra drink that night

        in regards to the security breach though, there really shouldn't be ANY excuse for that, even the biggest hospitals are split into units, and staff work in the one, they tend to know everyone who works there, and it took me a couple of visits before they would welcome me with a "hello"

      2. FILE_ID.DIZ
        Boffin

        Re: Pardon?

        Not if you have the proper controls and of course the consent(s) in place, preferably buried deep into all the paperwork a patient (eventually) and/or an authorized party to the patient, (eventually) signed. (However, IANAL, so YMMV.)

        For example, https://avasure.com/telesitter/

        Where I know this is used is for patients who may be in some type of altered mental state (psychos, postictal state, dementia, so on and so forth). This allows for directly monitoring patients, making sure that they're safe in their bed, to prevent any fall injuries or getting lost and possibly confused/angered.

        Helpful when hospital rooms are designed so that it's not very easy to peer far into a room, even with the door open.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Pardon?

          "and of course the consent(s) in place, preferably buried deep into all the paperwork "

          That doesn't constitute the specific informed consent required in civilised jurisdictions.

      3. parlei Bronze badge

        Re: Pardon?

        Just the other week here in a smallish Swedish town. The youth psychology service was recording sessions -- with consent by the patient! -- for training porpoises. But left the card in the cameras overnight. So when burglars broke in and stole the cameras they stole the data cards with the therapy sessions as well.

        To paraphrase Darth Vader: I find their lack of paranoia disturbing

        1. Clarecats

          Re: Pardon?

          Maybe the burglars liked dolphins.

        2. kwlf

          Re: Pardon?

          The psychiatrists who taught me realised that it was distracting to bare your soul to half a dozen medical students, so they arranged for a wireless CCTV camera in the consulting room. We were to sit in the adjacent room and watch the consultations between psychiatrists and their patients, most of whom had schizophrenia with paranoia. None of the patients turned up.

    3. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Pardon?

      If NHS it will have been given to the lowest bidder. Engineers will have pointed out the company will do a shit job. Middle management will tell the engineer to keep their trap shut, the engineer will be prooved right and this happens.

    4. cyberdemon Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Pardon?

      > NHS Fife is on the wrong end of a stern ticking off by Britain's data regulator after it made a howling privacy error that aided an as yet unknown person who had entered a hospital ward only to walk off with data on 14 patients.

      Meanwhile Palantir walks in, takes data on 75 million patients, and the NHS pays them £400 odd million for the privilege!

    5. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: the wall socket powering the system had been turned off by a member of staff

      Police are seeking a sentient vacuum cleaner informally known in the hospital as "Henry".

  2. Dinanziame Silver badge

    Maybe he was looking for the one-armed man who killed his wife?

    1. JamesTGrant

      I don’t care!!!

      (He does though)

    2. Bebu Silver badge
      Windows

      Maybe he was looking for the one-armed man who killed his wife?

      Dr Kimble - at least qualified to treat the patient :)

      Long memories. Anyone up for "David Vincent" from the "The Invaders" ? We really did gobble up vast quantities of inane pap in those days. Not that anything has really changed there.

      Although I am surprised that the hospital didn't offer the offender an employment contract on the spot given the enduring shortage of heathcare staff.

      Assuming the chap wasn't an outright loony, one (or more) of the 14 patient records should lead to this fellow or the instigators of this transgression.

  3. Lurko

    Sanctions needed!

    Whilst there's no logic or real punishment through a public sector body imposing financial penalties on other public sector bodies, the problem is that there's not any incentive to improve. Offering advice and guidance is reasonable, but alone that's not enough. Personal penalties on the board or relevant minions could be popular, but risk being unfair and ineffective.

    Making the trust's CEO walk round for a month with a hat that carries a prominent logo "Mr Bumhead" would probably be an effective deterrent, although in the dull, dry world of regulators that could cause a few cases of apoplexy (they're much keener on "up to 10% of global turnover" clauses that in practice never result in any significant sting).

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Sanctions needed!

      The Mr Bumhead hat is a stroke of genius. That has made my Friday afternoon and I suspect I may not be the only one!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sanctions needed!

      Scotland has no health trusts

      1. Lurko

        Re: Sanctions needed!

        Health board, then. From the cheap seats who fund them, they look the same.

    3. FIA Silver badge

      Re: Sanctions needed!

      Whilst there's no logic or real punishment through a public sector body imposing financial penalties on other public sector bodies, the problem is that there's not any incentive to improve.

      Make people accountable. Not just in the public sector, but in general. The idea is the increased remuneration for these roles reflects the increased responsibility. So ensure that responsibility is enforced. Start actually penalising people for doing a bad job, and holding those responsible accountable for negligence.

      The problem is (basically) nepotism though, the smaller and smaller pool of people in the higher paid jobs acts as a disincentive, as shitting on one of your friends is hard, and one day it may be you.

      Making the trust's CEO walk round for a month with a hat that carries a prominent logo "Mr Bumhead" would probably be an effective deterrent,

      I like that, and lets be honest, it's as likely to happen as my suggestion. :D

  4. GroovyLama
    Coat

    A future who me?

    Despite the hospital operating closed circuit television cameras, the wall socket powering the system had been turned off by a member of staff, so police are unable to name the person or find the missing document.

    So.. does that mean we are going to get a "Who, me?" in a few years from a cleaner who needed to plug in his hoover, and took out the CCTV for the entire hospital. And it just so happened to be the day someone decided to play Doctor?

    1. GreggS

      Re: A future who me?

      Are you saying it was Ncuti Gatwa?

    2. Alan J. Wylie

      Re: A future who me?

      From the IC's report, linked to in the original article: had been accidently turned off by a member of staff prior to the incident taking place, as part of an energy saving exercise

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: A future who me?

        Have they checked that nothing else got turned off by the same person eg; a ventilator?

        1. TheRealRoland
          Devil

          Re: A future who me?

          Instead they opened a window for some fresh air. "Fresh air never killed anyone", someone overheard a staffer say.

          1. Lurko

            Re: A future who me?

            I daresay that expression isn't commonly used in Russia.

            1. Paul Herber Silver badge

              Re: A future who me?

              In Russia you want all instructions in writing, the important bits need to be bullet points.

      2. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

        Re: A future who me?

        > had been accidentally turned off by a member of staff prior to the incident taking place, as part of an energy saving exercise

        That's not accidental. Likely the person who goes around switching monitors off too, when they aren't in use. In any case, this is a large public building and CCTV is an essential service. Guessing the ICO also checked their license to have CCTV recording for the purposes of crime prevention (yes you need one!)?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: A future who me?

          It could happen. They deliberately switched off the lights and then accidentally tripped over the lead powering the CCTV pulling out the plu. But I don't believe it.

        2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          Re: A future who me?

          Essential service? How did we manage without it?

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: A future who me?

            "Essential" changes.

            Electricity and gas used to be luxuries, yet you'd be in a very bad way if both of those got turned off for a few weeks.

      3. heyrick Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: A future who me?

        "as part of an energy saving exercise"

        There are people like that here. They'll happily turn the lights off in corridors that people are in, and randomly remove plugs from the wall because if it's plugged in and not obviously doing something then it's wasting electricity.

        Somebody, somewhere along the way, hammered some crap about saving money into their heads and they lack the cluons to effectively determine what should and shouldn't be turned off [*], and thus eventually end up committing what's akin to minor acts of vandalism. Yes, that temperature monitoring system is important. Yes, that thing needs to be charged by the evening or the night crew will punch you on the nose. And, yes, when purple are descending stairs, lights tend to be a rather good idea.

        Grrr...

        * - Ultimately the fault lies with management; fuckwits should be given a very simple "do NOT touch" instruction to follow.

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: A future who me?

          Old people (I am one) frequently remember lighting being a major source of energy consumption (as it once was, before CFL and then LED).

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: A future who me?

            I'm also an old person who remembers lighting as being a major source of energy consumption but also realises the consumption served a purpose. That last bit is an important principle to grasp for those who wish to save energy. The smart way to do it is to work out how to serve the same purpose more efficiently.

        2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          Re: A future who me?

          "And, yes, when purple are descending stairs, lights tend to be a rather good idea."

          All shades of people actually.

          1. heyrick Silver badge

            Re: A future who me?

            Swipe-type automangle strikes again!

        3. Bebu Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: A future who me?

          《lack the cluons 》

          Sheltered life - I hadn't encountered this part of the standard model :)

          I assume a cluon is an intermediate vector boson that holds together the constituents of the clue nucleon presumably composed of charged 1/3e and 2/3e 'clark' particles. Significant intracranial Cluonium aggregates are extremely rare I believe - daft matter not so much.

  5. gv
    Alien

    Was this person heard muttering: "Dialysis? ... What is this, the Dark Ages?"

    1. The Bobster

      I wonder what the rate of kidney regrowth was in this hospital after the incident.

  6. heyrick Silver badge

    Hmmm...

    Bryan Mills is getting sloppy.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Mushroom

    "Rather than fining public sector institutions for incompetence or a lack of training"

    They should fine the government for lack of funding.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Rather than fining public sector institutions for incompetence or a lack of training"

      Where's the funding angle? The trust had a absence of checks and formal processes, and some pillock unplugged the CCTV. Throwing a ton of money at the trust would have made little difference.

      1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Re: "Rather than fining public sector institutions for incompetence or a lack of training"

        Whilst you may be right you have to remember that the solution to ANY problem (especially if it involves government) is "we need more money"

  8. Dr. G. Freeman

    NHS Fife are more annoyed that someone off the street walked in and did a better job of looking after patients (as in, "want you water jug refilled Mrs. McGinty ?" and "Cold Tom ?, I'll get you another blanket) than the actual staff, showing them up.

    The data breach was that the person was handed a bit of paper with who's in each bed and what was wrong with them, didn't know what to do with that, so just put it in their pocket.

    [This information is from the Dundee Courier (local paper), apart from the names of patients, so it wasn't me.]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Makes you wonder why the ICO redacted the location of the hospital when the trust themselves told the press!

      https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/fife/4825059/nhs-fife-rapped-unauthorised-person/

    2. MrMerrymaker

      Doesn't sound that big a drama

      Funny yeah. No harm done.

  9. Grogan Silver badge

    Who was it, Mr. Bean? lol

    (The guy in the stock photo for the article thumb almost looks like him)

  10. Philo T Farnsworth

    Has George Santos been to Scotland lately?

    Just askin'.

    [For those who don't follow American politics, George Santos is a now former member of the US House of Representatives who famously (or infamously, depending upon your point of view) falsified just about everything on his resume and is accused of numerous campaign finance offenses including using donor money for Botox injections and OnlyFans subscriptions. I heartily suggest looking up the story if you enjoy a good tale of malfeasance, both alleged and proven.]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Has George Santos been to Scotland lately?

      We don't really need Americanism in threads about Fife.

      And keep your filthy guns away from our schools.

      1. Philo T Farnsworth

        Re: Has George Santos been to Scotland lately?

        Uh, sorry.

        Just for the record, I don't own a gun, don't want to, and prefer to stay as far away from the things as possible.

  11. Tron Silver badge

    Just the tip of the iceberg.

    Public services in the UK have no money and insufficient staff. It's only going to get worse as more councils go bankrupt. The collapse of care services will break more hospitals. You don't get first world services in a nation that drove itself over a cliff with Covid repatriations, Brexit barriers and a currency that is down 25%. Lower those expectations.

    1. Lurko

      Re: Just the tip of the iceberg.

      What a load of tosh. Public spending is higher than it has ever been. We could have first world services, but to have them on a sustainable footing we'd need to have been paying higher rates of tax in the past, Danish style. At the moment we're paying Danish style taxes, but a big slug of that is to try and balance the budget (which it still isn't) and to fund the debt accrued through prior public sector deficits, for which both parties are to blame - in particular the Labour party, who ran the budget deficit up to 10% of GDP.

      Brexit is a red herring - if it's been so damaging why is UK international trade up 15% compared to 2015/16, even allowing for inflation?

      1. Phones Sheridan Silver badge

        Re: Just the tip of the iceberg.

        Because prior to brexit, records were not kept about trade with Europe. I didn’t fill in one piece of paper declaring anything I sold or bought from Europe. Jan 1st 2021, everything is declared in triplicate followed by a non-sensical declaration of estimate of taxes owed if we didn’t have a brexit deal, then we have to pay it and claim it back in the same transaction, and to top it off, once every month the government sends us a PVA certificate of what they believe the tax figure should have been, and we have to change the declared figures to the new approved government figures and re-declare. Funnily enough it’s always a higher value we’re told to declare.

        Trade isn’t up, it’s just documented since 2021. Anything before that date is an estimate.

      2. Barry Rueger

        Re: Just the tip of the iceberg.

        Nonsense. Health funding us not about levels if taxation, it's about how tax proceeds are apportioned.

        The billions being handed to the likes of Palatir could instead be used to hire nurses or upgrade facilities.

        1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

          Re: Just the tip of the iceberg.

          -- Nonsense. Health funding us not about levels if taxation, it's about how tax proceeds are apportioned. --

          you need to add "and how its spent" to your comment

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Saving leccy

    had a bright spark think of that in the 90s. "Lets turn off all the computers at night"

    6 months later:

    1) why is it taking people 30 minutes to log in ? Because everyone was hitting the server at the same time)

    2) Why has the bill for replacement PCs increased tenfold? (Because powering them up every day stresses them).

    Of course by then they were well gone with the wind.

  13. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Facepalm

    In the recent past...

    "n as yet unknown person who had entered a hospital ward only to walk off with data on 14 patients"

    In the not too distant future...

    "A company who has access to hospital data systems helps themseves to data on tens of millions of patients"

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scottish health care

    Eat three deep fried Mars bars, drink 8 glasses of Irn Bru and call me in the morning laddie.

    If your headache goes away, drink 10 pints of McEwans.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scottish health care

      You bigot. I hope you have a shit christmas day. People like you make me sick. Unfunny prejudiced wanker

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Scottish health care

        I ALWAYS have a shit Christmas Day.

        I hate it with an absolute passion.

        But.

        May your haggis and neeps be delicious!

        1. emswift

          Re: Scottish health care

          don’t you have a tory to vote for?

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: Scottish health care

            Oooh noo, please, it's wicked to mock the afflicted!

            As Frankie Howerd used to say

  15. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    On the plus side...

    A patient got treated!!!

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: On the plus side...

      Probably the intruder was an actual medic, which including the aforementioned treatment meant he would have been able to blend in and not bring attention to themselves, and also know exactly when they found whatever they were after.

      Steal to order /wanting details of a particular/very specific patient.

      1. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

        Re: On the plus side...

        Trust me, medics' points of view on their workplace can be complex, but the idea of being there when I don't have to isn't my idea of fun.

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: On the plus side...

      It could have been worse.

      He could have asked the patient to breathe in, but scarpered before the order to breathe out.

      Now that would be a purple (see earlier comment ^^^ up there somewhere).

  16. johnrobyclayton

    Richard Kimbal spotted in Scotland looking for documentation about a one armed man

    I am astonished that no one mentioned this already.

  17. Spamfast
    FAIL

    Every healthcare organisation should look at this case as a lesson learned ...

    Yes. And the lesson is that there is no personal comeback on those in charge of physical and IT security so carry on as you were administrators.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      What we get told is the result of the ICO investigation. What then happens in the body being reported on isn't part of that. There may indeed have been disciplinary action, we don't know.

  18. Mr. V. Meldrew

    Fine but not fine....

    Some official body "fining" another body is absurd.

    In this case, put them in the naughty corner and try to offer sound advice.

    We have seen many examples of government departments issuing fines that ultimately affect the consumer in financial terms.

    Education, education is the answer.

    1. Spamfast

      Re: Fine but not fine....

      I totally agree about the pointlessness of one government body fining another.

      That's why it needs the management to be personally liable for their decisions. If they're found to have acted in a knowingly reckless way (think 'depraved indifference'), then their assets and liberty should be at risk.

      I appreciate that the details are a bugger and it'd be feathering the lawyers' nests again but for the life of me I can't think of anything else that would work, both in the public sector and the private.

  19. GreyWolf

    This is not new

    In the 1990s, I had a girlfriend who was a nurse. The health unit that employed her made all the nurses buy their own stethoscopes (not cheap, on a nurse's pay).

    When I asked why, she said it was because they kept on being stolen, and management had decided to refuse to pay for replacements.

    [DOGMA ALERT] Nor would management arrange proper security for the hospital, because "we have to be open to everybody".

    And it wasn't just stethoscopes, lab equipment, emergency oxygen, absolutely everything, all costing hundreds or thousands to replace; it was ALL getting stolen. And the management were doing NOTHING about it.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: This is not new

      With ill parents over the last few years (both now deceased) I have spent far more time visiting hospitals than I would like over the last few years.

      Security is minimal when visiting, would be trivial to take in a white lab coat & fake ID (& possibly a clipboard or appropriate looking PDA / tablet depending on the hospital tech in use if I wanted to be really keen) & put them on in a toilet and then wander round (probably would not even need the lab coat, could dress up suited and booted and wander around with an attitude that implied I was the most important person in the universe & everyone would just assume I was a consultant).

      The "coal face" staff in the NHS are understaffed and overworked, many NHS hospitals are large so average staffer only really knows a small subset of other staff, & things limp along with a lot of things taken on trust *, so only surprise is that more "fake doctors / NHS staff" do not wander around hospitals.**

      * Several of my close relatives are NHS nursing staff

      ** Alternatively, there may well be lots of undetected fakes doing this...

      1. kwlf

        Re: This is not new

        Nobody has worn lab coats in hospitals for decades. But I agree, security is woeful.

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