In a shocking incident of carelessness and security breach, the East Surrey Hospital admitted to losing a memory stick containing confidential medical details of 800 patients.
The device, which was unencrypted, was lost in 2010 and has not been found.
The East Surrey Hospital is run by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS trust.
After the loss was made public in NHS trust’s annual report, the Information Commissioner’s Office warned The Redhill Hospital that if such a thing happens again then regulatory action would be taken against them.
Regarding the lost device, Michael Wilson, Chief Executive of the trust said that there is no report that the stick has been found by any third party.
Also, as a matter of fact, Wilson pointed out that it is the policy of the trust that all staff must use encrypted memory sticks while transferring patient data.
"It is regrettable that this happened on this occasion and since then we have put in place new measures that mean that now only encrypted memory sticks can be used with trusted computers," said Wilson.