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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Lost records sparks data rethink

27th December 2007

Tory politicians have called for a rethink over plans for a national health database after it emerged nine NHS trusts lost patients’ confidential records.


Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley says the planned single database of 50 million patient details would be less secure than a network of local ones.

The call follows revelations that 168,000 people had been affected by the data losses by the NHS.

The breaches involve the loss of names and addresses of 160,000 children by City and Hackney Primary Care Trust after a disc failed to arrive at its destination in east London.

Other trusts that have had problems with lost information are Bolton Royal Hospital, Sutton and Merton PCT, Sefton Merseyside PCT, Mid-Essex Care Trust, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, the East and North Hertfordshire Trust, Gloucester Partnership Foundation Trust and Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.

The NHS losses follows checks across government departments after the details of 25 million child benefit claimants were lost.

The Patients’ Association said it regards the security breaches as “very serious.?

Health minister Dawn Primarolo said: “What it is really important to stress is how important patient security and confidentiality is and how each of these trusts is moving to deal with this. And given we have hundreds and hundreds of trusts I think that patients should be confident that their information is being held appropriately.?

The Department of Health say the new database would help avoid data security breaches and the losses will not stop plans for a national patient database from going ahead.


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