NHS staff breach IT guidelines 500 times

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NHS staff breached IT guidelines almost 500 times in the past three years, according to new statistics.

A total of 481 breaches were recorded by health boards from 2010, according to data gathered by the Conservatives under Freedom of Information legislation.

Incidents included sharing passwords, swearing in e-mails, inappropriate Facebook comments and installing banned software on computers. The data shows that at least 195 breaches were recorded last year, with at least 170 recorded in 2011 and 109 in 2010.

Two boards – Tayside, and Dumfries and Galloway – gave figures for the three-year period instead of a yearly breakdown, totalling seven cases. At least 15 workers have been sacked or resigned as a result of the breaches, while others were given counselling as a result of the offence.