Harrow Primary Care Trust sent out over 10,000 STD letters to children by mistake. Sparking nearly 1,000 complaints by parents, who were left thinking their children had Chlamydia, a leaked report states.
The confidential documents, which were released under the Freedom of Information Act, stated that children as young as seven years old received the letter, urging them to have an STD test.
The inquiry blames a mistake that happened when a worker put the wrong date of birth into the database. The letters had not been checked by the Harrow Primary Care Trust. They were sent out to over 10,000 homes in the surrounding area.
The letter, sent out on the 22nd of October was intended for 15-24 year olds and offered a chance of winning an iPod if a Chlamydia test was taken. From now on all mail shots that are posted by the Trust will be checked, before they are sent out.
In a statement Dr Andrew Howe, the Director of Public Health said, “I would like to sincerely apologise to the families affected by this mistake, and assure them that, of course, Chlamydia screening is only necessary for sexually active adults and young people, in line with the national programme to offer Chlamydia screening to those aged 15 to 24.”