Data Loss: NHS

45,000 more details have been lost, by the health care industry. again.

The information contained the names, home addresses, phone numbers and a description of the disabilities of 45,000 people, including children and pensioners.

The data was stored on a portable hard drive in a locked cupboard at Bowley Close rehabilitation centre in Crystal Palace, which is run by Southwark primary care trust. It was reported missing in January but patients have only just been informed. A Southwark resident who learned of the loss said patients should have been told immediately: “These people are vulnerable and an easy target for thieves who would know the addresses and exactly what their medical condition is. It is a gift.”

A spokesman for Southwark primary care trust said: “We did not tell patients in January because a police investigation and our own investigation were ongoing. We are assuming the hard drive was stolen.”

He said the device, the size of a brick, was used to transfer data on to a new IT system but admitted it should have been wiped. He added there was no evidence the patients’ data had been used by thieves.

Trust chief executive Susanna White apologised and said procedures had been tightened to “minimise the chances of this kind of incident happening again”.

Evening Standard

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