Dental patient forms 'dumped' in Coventry recycling bin
About 150 dental patients' forms have been found "dumped" in a public recycling bin.
The NHS declaration forms were discovered in the public bin in a supermarket car park in Cannon Park, Coventry.
West Midlands Police said it was investigating the find, made on Sunday evening.
NHS England said only approved contractors able to destroy paper records on site should be used.
Dental practitioners should obtain a certificate of destruction once they have been disposed of, it said.
The documents, signed by patients receiving NHS dental treatment, were discovered in the Cannon Park shopping centre car park by Mark Taylor.
Mr Taylor, chair of Coventry's UKIP branch, said he had been disposing of his own papers when he noticed the medical forms.
He said the documents included patients' names, birth dates and signatures.
"I would expect any NHS organisation to shred or dispose of such personal information in a professional manner," he said.
Mr Taylor said it appeared the documents had "simply been dumped".
An NHS England spokesman said it would launch an investigation into how the forms came to be discarded.
"Under the Data Protection Act we expect all dental surgeries to discard of patient forms in the correct manner," he said.
West Midlands Police said the forms dated back to 2007.
Ch Insp Helen Kirkman said: "There are no details on the documents to indicate which practice they may have come from and we are liaising with the NHS to establish this.
"At this stage, it is too early to say if any criminal offences have been committed but we would ask anyone with information to call us on 101."