Patient records lost 135 times since last year

The NHS has lost patient records on at least 135 occasions since the beginning of last year.

Photograph: Haymarket Medical/J H Lancy
Photograph: Haymarket Medical/J H Lancy

A survey of data losses, made by the Liberal Democrats under the Freedom of Information Act, found that some incidents had been so serious that 25 patients had been visited by the police and NHS management.

The party's shadow health secretary Norman Lamb described the security lapses as ‘utterly shocking'.

‘The degree of negligence in some cases is breathtaking,' he said. ‘There must be a fundamental re-examination of how the NHS deals with personal data.'

The incidents uncovered by the survey include one last March when a practice in the East of England had its entire computer system stolen.

A system back up tape was stolen from another practice in the same region.

A third practice, in the south east, reported that patient records were lost after they were delivered to the wrong address.

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