AN INVESTIGATION has been launched at the city’s biggest hospital after a cleaner tracked down a patient on Facebook after accessing her medical records.
The man, who has been suspended, spotted the woman at accident and emergency at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
He then looked for her on an NHS Lothian computer, tracked her down through the social networking site, and informed her that he thought she looked nice.
Police have now warned the woman – who has two young children – not to go out alone, and patients groups have said the data of individuals has to be guarded more closely.
The cleaner worked for Consort, the PFI firm that runs the ERI . The woman, who does not want to be named, has vowed to take the matter further and revealed that, when the cleaner was suspended, he again contacted her on Facebook pleading with her to drop the complaint.
She attended the casualty ward – said to be the busiest in the UK – after breaking two fingers in a fall. Shortly after, the messages were sent.
He told her: “If ur wondering who i am, i was checking u out yest :) ha, hows the hand? X. I work in a&e, random ano lol delete me if u want, just thought u were nice! X.”
When he was suspended for the approach, he messaged: “i dont wana lose ma job b4 xmas am realy sorry please dont take this any further!”
And the woman, who lives in Edinburgh, said today: “I was really upset when I read the e-mail. I didn’t know who he was, what he was capable of, or whether he knew my address and phone number. It’s just wrong in so many ways.
“I’ve got two boys at home – one aged two, the other six months – so I was worried for them too.”
She added that she recalled the man working, but not “checking her out”, as he put it.
The safety of patient details is an increasingly important topic for health chiefs.
Margaret Watt, chairwoman of the Scotland Patients Association, said: “Workers should not have access to patient files.There definitely needs to be more safeguards in place and security over records.”
Jackie Sansbury, the health board’s chief operating officer, said: “An incident involving an employee from an independent contractor was reported and immediate action was taken.”
A Consort spokeswoman added: “When an incident involving an employee was reported, immediate action was taken.”
Police also confirmed they were looking at the case.