East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust loses data cartridge with 42,000 patient forms

East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust has lost a data cartridge containing 42,000 copies of patient forms.

In a statement, Sue Noyes, the chief executive of the service, explained that the trust takes responsibility for the security and confidentiality of the information it records and stores “very seriously”, before stating that it had reported the incident to the Information Commissioner, to Nottinghamshire Police and NHS organisations who monitor and regulate the trust’s service.

“A data cartridge containing just under 42,000 electronic copies of scanned handwritten Patient Report Forms, which we believe are from September 2012 to November 2012, has gone missing from our Beechdale divisional headquarters in Nottingham,” Noyes said.

Noyes suggested that the cartridge was small, and that there was still a possibility that it was on the organisation’s premises, adding: “We are conducting a thorough search of the building.”

The service is confident that the data can only be read using specific hardware that is available on the Trust’s premises and which is no longer in production.

“It is extremely unfortunate that this incident has occurred, particularly as during this financial year [the ambulance service] is replacing the current computerised storage system to strengthen security arrangements,” Noyes stated.

The Trust has asked those people who received an ambulance response and had their details recorded in handwriting between September 2012 and November 2012 to contact the trust if they have any concerns about the news.