The Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust has revealed that one of their laptops was stolen on the 8th of January from the outpatient department at Russells Hall Hopsital; the theft is the latest in a string of embarrassing incidents involving records of UK patients.
At the end of last month, the Conservative party revealed that more than 350 government laptops and desktops were unaccounted for.
The laptop is known to contain more than 5,000 patient records and has been protected by a password; patients whose records have been lost were sent a letter to inform them of the theft and that the data can't be accessed straight away.
Before the laptop was stolen, the trust had already purchased data encryption software to protect data on laptops, computers, PDAs and memory stick which makes it more difficult for third parties to recover data even if they have access to the data files.
Late last year, the HMRC lost 25 million child benefit records on two unencrypted CDROMs in the post and the details of 3 million UK driving test candidates went missing in the US.