Laptop with 5,000 medical records stolen
A laptop containing the medical records of more than 5,000 patients has been stolen from a hospital, it was revealed today.
The computer was taken from the outpatients department at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, West Midlands, on January 8.
It contains a database with information on 5,123 anticoagulation patients, the hospital said.
Letters have been sent to those affected and police have launched an investigation.
Paul Farenden, chief executive of Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust, said the laptop was taken from an anticoagulation clinic, which treats people who suffer from blood-thinning problems.
He said a username and password was required to operate the computer, and a separate username and password was needed for the database.
He said there was no evidence to suggest that the patient information had been accessed.
Mr Farenden went on: "Clearly this is a serious issue. We take precautions to try to protect all the IT equipment in our hospitals from theft but, given that this is a public building with thousands of people accessing it every day, there are inevitably practical difficulties around security.
"Our security team works very hard to ensure the safety of our staff, patients and visitors, but it is very difficult to mitigate against all deliberate acts of theft.
"We would like to apologise for any concern this matter has caused those patients affected, and would like to reassure them that the information on the database is unlikely to be recoverable."
A police spokeswoman said: "West Midlands Police is investigating the theft of a laptop computer from Russells Hall Hospital on January 8, 2008.
"The Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook laptop was taken from an office in the outpatient department some time between 2.15pm and 4.15pm.
"Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call Dudley police station on 0845 113 5000."
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 Pornhub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Kanye West gives guest lecture at Oxford University: 'If I, Kanye West, can remove my ego, I think there's hope for everyone'
'This is what Islam tells us to do': A rare glimpse inside a Saudi Arabian prison – where Isis terrorists are showered with perks and privileges
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a customer focu...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development Executiv...
£45000 - £53000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Learning & Develo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's largest regional newspaper pub...