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Colchester NHS Trust Sacks Manager Over lost laptop

Looks as if public bodies are finally getting tough with data handling. The Colchester University Hospital, in Essex, has fired one of its managers after a laptop was stolen from his car.

The device's hard drive contained the names, addresses and treatment details of 21,000 patients and were not protected by any encryption solution. To make matters worse, the manager was on holiday in Scotland when the theft occurred.

The chief executive of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, Peter Murphy, said that “Following a disciplinary hearing held on Friday after a detailed investigation, the senior manager whose hospital laptop computer was stolen has been dismissed from the Trust with immediate effect. The unanimous decision of the disciplinary panel sends out a clear statement about how seriously the Trust takes security and patient confidentiality. I again apologise for the distress the theft of this laptop may have caused.”

The trust has already informed the patients concerned about the security blunder.

However, some like SCmagazine (opens in new tab), have pointed out that the manager could possibly just be a mere victim of a dysfunctional organisation which has failed to secure its data using encryption.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.