MORE than 41,000 patient records have been lost by East Midlands Ambulance Service, it has been revealed.
The tens of thousands of records are believed to be patient report forms from between September 2012 to November 2012.
The scanned-in forms had been saved on to a data cartridge which has gone missing from the service’s Beechdale divisional headquarters in Nottingham.
Service chiefs have moved to reassure patients that it was “unlikely” that anyone outside of the organisation would be able to read the information.
Ambulance service chief executive Sue Noyes said: “We take our responsibility for the security and confidentiality of the information we record and store very seriously and express sincere apologies for a patient-data-loss incident which we have reported to the information commissioner this week.
“The cartridge is small and there is a possibility that it is still on our premises and we are conducting a thorough search of the building. We are certain the data can only be read via specific hardware which we have in our premises, and which is no longer in production.
“Therefore, it is unlikely that the information stored on the missing cartridge can be viewed by anyone outside of the organisation.”
The loss comes at the same time that a new IT system has been put in place to strengthen security.
As well as being reported to the information commissioner, the incident has been reported to NHS organisations which monitor and regulate the service and to Nottinghamshire police.
Anyone who received an ambulance response from September 2012 to November 2012 and had details recorded on a hand-written paper patient report form can speak to the ambulance service on 0115 8845055 between 8am and 8pm.