Virtually 10,000 affected person data have been misplaced by NHS hospitals final yr, Freedom of Info figures have revealed.
The disclosure will immediate fears that data are being offered by the darkish net and specialists have warned that the rise in instances of identification fraud means it’s vitally necessary to guard sufferers’ knowledge.
And campaigners have suggested that not having a full report out there throughout a session might make it harder for medical doctors to precisely diagnoses well being points or prescribe the proper treatment.
Solely 68 hospitals launched data on lacking or misplaced affected person data for the Parliament Road assume tank report, which means the size of the problem is prone to be much more extreme.
Virtually 10,000 affected person data have been misplaced by NHS hospitals final yr, Freedom of Info figures have revealed
Barry Scott, of cybersecurity agency Centrify, mentioned the incidents underlined the necessity to enhance the well being service’s safety procedures across the administration of affected person data.
‘With gross sales of well being data on the darkish net and identification fraud on the rise, the necessity to shield the privateness of sufferers while transferring in the direction of safe digital methods is each pressing and important,’ he informed the Instances.
‘The well being service stays a high goal for hackers and whether or not their motive is to wreak havoc or steal identities, it’s vital that each single affected person report is handled as a excessive precedence by well being trusts.’ Final yr’s cyberattack from hacking group WannaCry affected 80 out of 236 hospital trusts throughout England, largely by exploiting out-of-date pc methods.
Even though the well being service itself was not focused, hospital chiefs conceded it highlighted a ‘want to enhance throughout all components of the NHS.’
The FOI responses revealed a complete of 9,132 data reported lacking; it was not clear in all instances whether or not they have been finally discovered or not.
Solely 68 hospitals launched data on lacking or misplaced affected person data for the Parliament Road assume tank report, which means the size of the problem is prone to be much more extreme
One belief mentioned a affected person listing had been stolen. The belief with the best variety of misplaced data was College Hospitals Birmingham with 3,179.
Bolton Belief was second with 2,163 and College Hospitals Bristol recorded 1,105.
Joyce Robins, of marketing campaign group Affected person Concern, warned of a ‘blase’ perspective in the direction of affected person data.
She mentioned: ‘It’s fairly dreadful to assume a health care provider goes to come back and deal with you and has no data to do it with. It’s simply ludicrous.’