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dumfries couple slam nhs chiefs for failing to tell them medical details were leaked online

Dumfries couple slam NHS chiefs for failing to tell them medical details were leaked online

A Dumfries couple have blasted NHS chiefs for failing to tell them their most intimate medical details have been leaked online. Fiona and Owens Elliott were horrified to discover they were among tens of thousands of people whose health records had been hacked and released on the dark web last week. The grandparents said they’d heard nothing from NHS Dumfries and Galloway about the theft and only discovered they were involved after our sister paper the Sunday Mail told them. In March, the health board confirmed it had been targeted by hacking group Inc Ransom, which was demanding cash to keep the stolen -documents secret. A police investigation is ongoing but the criminals published 3TB of documents – about 43million emails’ worth – last Monday after the health board failed to pay. Thousands of patients’ details, including names, addresses and sensitive medical records, have been released and downloaded by hundreds of people. Docu-ments relating to health board management have also been published as well as clinical photos, staff details and private correspondence. Despite the data being released last week, victims had no idea their details were involved and are stunned at being left in the dark by the health authority. Owens, 69, said: “It’s an absolute disgrace that nobody has contacted us about it. It should be a priority. “I’ll need to watch now what phone calls and things I’m getting if people have my information.” Wife Fiona, 66, said: “We were at the hospital with our daughter and nobody mentioned a thing. You’d think they’d phone us and tell us what to do.” Julie Hogg, a housewife from Dumfries, has also had details about her medical care released online but had no idea. After seeing the leaked papers, Julie, 51, said: “There’s stuff in there that even my family doesn’t know. Plus all my personal information. It’s a lot to take in.” NHS Dumfries and Galloway has set up a helpline but Julie said: “The helpline is not much use if you don’t know your -information has been stolen.” Scottish Labour Health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “It is shocking that patients have been left in dark about this data breach. “The SNP must work with the health board to ensure patients are contacted, as well as working to ensure public services are better protected against the threat of cyberattacks.” The Scottish government repeated NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s comments but didn’t address the victims’ calls for more action.

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