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NHS Trust Loses Sensitive Personal Data of its Patients

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has signed a formal undertaking after an unencrypted USB stick containing sensitive personal data was lost by a junior doctor on a train.

The junior doctor was intending to pass patient information to a colleague electronically, once at home, but the USB stick was lost during the journey.

It has now been confirmed that in future, all staff will be made aware by the data controller of the full policy for the use of portable media and the storage and use of personal data and all staff will be trained appropriately in order to comply with such policies.

Efficient monitoring will also take effect; the data controller will also implement any other security measures it deems appropriate to protect against such things happening again.

There are a number of failings that led to this loss of data.  Most of the failings stem from failure in training and guidance; it would seem that because this NHS Trust did properly train its staff member, it could have been running with a high level of risk of data loss for some time. Absolute Data can help organisations protect against such risks, by carrying out research and implementing training and procedural change. For more information on these services, please contact us now at