‘Lessons have been learned’ from data loss

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An ambulance trust has admitted it does not know how it lost a cartridge full of patients’ information.

East Midlands Ambulance Service, known as Emas, has published the results of an investigation into the loss of a cartridge containing 42,000 patient report forms.

The trust said it did not know how the data was lost, and the system it was stored on was flawed. A new IT system has been put in place and security measures have been tightened.

Chief executive Sue Noyes said: “We made a proactive announcement of the loss of a data cartridge in August, when it could not be located in the secure safe where it should have been stored.

“We expressed our apologies to our patients at that time, and would like to reiterate those apologies now. It is important to note that during this financial year we had already agreed to replace this specific computerised storage system and to strengthen security arrangements.

“We took a proactive approach to report this loss because we knew it was our duty to inform people that such an incident had occurred. We are taking the same approach in publishing the outcomes of the investigation.

“We are an open, honest and transparent service, which learns from its mistakes and takes actions to minimize the risk of such an incident happening again.”

Director of information and performance, Will Legge added: “We fully accept the responsibility to improve security of information management at Emas, and we are confident the actions we have taken and committed to in our strategy will deliver the long-term improvements required to help us achieve our Better Patient Care improvement plan.”

The full report can be seen at www.emas.nhs.uk.