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Southern District Health Board staff have been reminded to take more care after the details of 60 surgical patients were mistakenly emailed to someone.
The recipient, who was not a patient, contacted the board and had deleted the information from their computer, patient services director Lexie O'Shea said.
''The patients were all surgical patients from across the Southern district and the spreadsheet contained details of the type of surgery.
''We have written to the patients concerned apologising to them, and inviting them to contact us if they would like to discuss the error further,'' Mrs O'Shea said.
The privacy breach occurred in January and was discovered last month when the person returned from holiday. An investigation was under way, Mrs O'Shea said.
''Staff have been reminded to take particular care with patient information.''