Shredding Services for the Healthcare Industry
Confidentiality in health and social care is of the utmost importance. With so much information being recorded on patients daily, hospitals, surgeries, clinics and medical centres provide a wealth of information for identity fraudsters. That’s why it’s so important for those working in the medical profession to keep on top of their records, shredding those which they no longer need, protecting patient information and minimising any risk of falling foul of the Data Protection Act and other security legislation. If you work in healthcare and have a large number of any of the following items that are surplus to requirements, then contact our data shredding team:
- Patient records
- Staff records
- Prescription orders and receipts
- Post or printed email correspondence
- Surplus or redundant computers, laptops and hard drives containing confidential patient and staff information
- Office equipment such as ringbinders and lever arch files which contain confidential paperwork
- Data discs, compact discs, floppy discs and flash drives
When can/should medical records be destroyed?
The length of time patient information should be held before it’s destroyed depends on the type of information being held, and whether the records in question are held by a GP or a hospital. The NHS code of practice advises records are only destroyed after the following periods of time have elapsed:
- Medical records held by a GP
- Maternity records: 25 years after the last time the mother has given birth
- Records relating to those receiving mental health treatment: 20 years after the date of last contact OR if sooner 10 years after the patient’s death
- Records relating to those serving in the armed forces or who are serving a prison sentence: these should not be destroyed
- All other GP medical records: 10 years after the patient’s death OR 10 years after the patient has permanently relocated abroad UNLESS that patient remains living within the European Union.
Medical records held by a hospital
- Maternity records: 25 years after the last time the mother gives birth
- Children/young people: Until the patient turns 25 (26 if the person was treated until they were 17) OR 8 years after death
- Those receiving treatment under the Mental Health Act: 20 years after last contact between the patient and those administering treatment OR 8 years after the death of the patient
- All other hospital medical records: 8 years after treatment or death
The requirement of the healthcare industry to protect its patients doesn’t stop once they’ve left the hospital, clinic or healthcare centre. It is the duty of doctors, nurses and healthcare administrative staff to continue to protect confidential and sensitive information as well as a patient’s health and wellbeing – and Datashredders can help. Choose us for your confidential waste disposal and we’ll provide secure waste containers for all of your data shredding, and you won’t even have to separate goods or remove staples and binders. For a free, no-obligation quote, call the number you see at the top of this page or fill in an enquiry form via our contact us page.