Stolen laptop had details of 1,147 patients: Doctor faces hearing after theft from home
HOSPITAL bosses have apologised after a laptop containing the confidential details of more than 1,000 patients was stolen from a doctor's home.
Officials have confirmed the junior doctor acted outside regulations in taking away unencrypted patient information and installing it on his personal computer.
'Fuming': 12-year-old Mary Holmes' personal information was on the stolen computer. She is pictured with her mother Cathie.
It included peoples' names, dates of birth, the treatment they received and their hospital numbers.
Now, Phil Morley, chief executive at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham, has written to the 1,147 patients affected to apologise.
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In the letter, he said: "I am writing this letter to inform you of the incident and also to apologise unreservedly for the loss of your confidential data.
"The doctor acted outside trust and NHS regulations in taking unencrypted patient data away from the trust and installing it on his personal computer.
"I can advise that the trust treats these matters very seriously and the doctor concerned is being managed in accordance with the trust's policies and procedures."
The trust said the doctor was initially suspended but is now back at work awaiting a disciplinary hearing.
Those affected by the theft were orthopaedic patients, which includes people who have been treated for broken bones or had a hip or knee replacement.
The trust said the doctor informed police the laptop had been stolen following the theft in November but did not notify the trust until two weeks after the incident.
Cathie Holmes, 37, of Beverley, said she was furious when her 12-year-old daughter, Mary, received one of the letters.
Mrs Holmes said: "You can't send a letter of that magnitude to a child and expect them to understand it.
"I'm fuming about it. We should be able to trust these people."