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Stolen laptop holds details of 238 children

Names and addresses stored on memory stick

Telford and Wrekin Primary Care Trust (PCT) has confirmed that a laptop holding personal details of more than 200 children has been stolen from the Madeley Health Centre.

The laptop was taken while one of its language therapists was running a clinic and had left it in an adjacent room. It has since been disconnected from the NHS network to ensure no access to data, but a memory stick with 238 patients' details is still missing. These records include patients' names, date of births and addresses, as well as the details of their speech and language therapy treatment.

Simon Conolly, Telford & Wrekin PCT chief executive said that the laptop had been fitted with encryption software to comply with the high NHS security standards.

"The equipment was also fitted with sophisticated tracking equipment and the police were informed immediately."

The PCT said it informed patients of the breach as soon as the theft was reported, and the trust is undergoing a thorough investigation.

Conolly said: "All staff are given strict instructions about all aspects of security on patient records, for example not to leave laptops in cars. It is extremely unfortunate that the equipment has been stolen from the NHS clinic while the therapist was working there. A thorough internal investigation is being carried out and if there are lessons to be learned from this incident, the PCT will be ensure that security measures are reinforced."

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