A sexual health clinic in Soho has accidentally revealed the HIV status of almost 800 patients in a serious breach of data protection.
The Dean Street Express, run by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Trust, offers free, walk-in HIV testing, is reportedly the busiest sexual health screening clinic in the UK, seeing 300 patients a day. The décor is more similar to that of a PR agency than an NHS clinic and the facilities are high-tech.
The Guardian report that a newsletter was sent on Tuesday which disclosed the names, email addresses and HIV status of 780 patients. The clinic has launched an investigation into how the breach occurred and has apologised to those affected.
At the time of writing, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Trust are yet to respond to the story, however a spokesperson told Londonist they are not disputing the reported number of patients affected.
While there is no legal obligation to report such a breach under the Data Protection Act, the Information Commissioner’s office is almost certain to launch an investigation into how a leak of such sensitive information could have occurred.
A spokesperson for the Information Commissioner's Office said: "We are aware of an incident regarding the 56 Dean Street clinic and are making enquiries."
If you've been affected by the breach, the clinic has set up a helpline for patients: 020 3315 9555 or 020 3315 9594.