Belfast Telegraph

SDLP chief Alasdair McDonnell apologises for medical files found in rubble

By Claire Williamson

An investigation has been launched after medical files were found by children at a former GP surgery once owned by SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell.

The MP apologised after patient's medical notes were found in the rubble at the demolition site on the Ormeau Road.

Clanmil Housing plans to build 15 new flats on the site after buying it earlier this year.

Dr Alasdair McDonnell in a statement said he was "sincerely sorry for any anxiety or upset that may be cause to former patients".

He said: "The medical practice, of which I was a part, had a responsibility to our patients to ensure that every piece of information was securely transferred to our new premises.

"It is evident now that somehow a small number of medical and personal files were not disposed of in the appropriate and secure fashion. This is a matter of the utmost seriousness."

The assistant Information Commissioner for Northern Ireland, Ken MacDonald ,said it was one of the "more serious incidents" in recent times and they would be investigating.

He said: "Obviously we are going to be undertaking a full investigation into this but when Dr McDonnell left the practice he should have been passing them to the new GP responsible for the patients.

He added: "We need to find out exactly what has happened here, but on the face of it it should have been the practice staff that had the responsibility of making sure that all records were removed."

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