NHS data found in a skip, a garden and the street

Confidential NHS data has been found in a skip, a garden, the boot of a car, and the street in the past two years.

Confidential NHS data has been found in a skip, a garden, the boot of a car, and the street in the past two years.

A catalogue of data-losses by the UK's 10 Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) was released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Incidents include patient information being sent to the wrong patients in the West Midlands, after a post-inserting machine put two letters into each envelope. An entire GP practice system was stolen in the East of England.

The information was released in response to a Freedom of Information request from Liberal Democrat shadow health secretary Norman Lamb. He obtained a list of "serious untoward incidents" involving data loss from every Strategic Health Authoritie, either through an FOI request or directly from their website.

Lamb is calling on the government to formally abandon its plans for a national database of patient records.

He said, "We already know from the information commissioner that the NHS is among the worst offenders for data loss, reporting as many incidents as the entire private sector.

"There must be a fundamental re-examination of how the NHS deals with personal data."

More FOI disclosures about the NHS >>

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