Hospital data study

HOSPITAL bosses are looking into whether to encrypt data in the future following last year’s laptop theft.

Confidential records were stolen from Calderdale Royal Hospital in December when a computer, which was used on conjunction with a scanning machine, was taken by thieves.

The computer contained details on hundreds of patients, who were written to by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust to let them know.

At a meeting of the Trust’s board, medical director Yvette Oade said discussions were ongoing into whether data could be encrypted to prevent information being accessed in the event of future thefts.

It was suggested that software be put on the computers to create the encryption but the information service was anxious not to disturb the functioning of the equipment.

“The patients were all written to and a number of queries were raised. We responded quickly and they appeared to be reassured,” she said.

At the time of the theft, police were informed and the hospital has since stepped up security.