4:04pm Thursday 21st February 2013
By Clare Hardy
A shopkeeper fears his personal information may have been passed on during a stay in hospital after being “inundated” with calls and emails since his release.
Raymond Morrell, 51, who runs Abbey Off-Licence in Highbridge Street, Waltham Abbey, suffered a slipped disc while at home in mid January and was taken by ambulance to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, where he stayed for two weeks.
He says that he was never contacted by personal injury lawyers or compensation firms before his treatment, but has received eight messages since he started counting on Wednesday and more before that.
The resident of Monkswood Avenue said: “Never having received phone calls or texts about injury claims, I am now inundated with them.
“I’ve had phone calls to the shop from a legal firm.
“It might be a coincidence, but I gave the off licence email address and number to the hospital as my contact details and they’ve only come to the business email.
“I’m not receiving anything on my Gmail account, which I didn’t give out.
“Somehow, I go into hospital and people seem to know.
“If they’ve got access to that, what other information have they got access to?
“When I spoke to a customer who works for London Ambulance Service, he said it might be worth contacting the East of England Ambulance Service, but would not divulge any more information.”
An outpatient at Whipps Cross hospital in Leytonstone, 32-year-old Stephen Currey, had similar fears after he was contacted by personal injury lawyers hours after his return home in 2011, although the hospital denied any details had been leaked.
A spokesman for the Princess Alexandra hospital trust said: “In our experience compensation claim companies have many ways of obtaining information about incidents which do not involve any contact with hospitals or staff.
“We do not share data or information about patients with any commercial organisation. Patient confidentiality is extremely important and is taken very seriously.
“Staff are aware of the repercussions of breaching patient confidentiality and the serious nature in which the Trust would manage any breach.”
An East of England Ambulance spokesman said: “We don’t pass on details at all. It’s quite a bizarre case and I’ve not heard of anything like it before.”
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