Manchester medical student loses 87 patients' details

Sensitive data from 87 patients at a Manchester hospital was lost on a memory stick, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said.

The information was copied by a medical student who then lost her memory stick.

The ICO said The University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM) breached data protection law.

The trust has agreed to take significant steps to ensure the personal data accessed by students working at the hospital is kept secure.

Its information was lost when the medical student - on a placement at the hospital's burns and plastics department - copied data on to a personal, unencrypted memory stick for research purposes.

The memory stick was lost by the student during a subsequent placement last December.

No training

The ICO's investigation found the hospital had assumed the student had received data protection training.

Sally Anne Poole, ICO's acting head of enforcement said: "This case highlights the need to ensure data protection training for healthcare providers is built in early on so that it becomes second nature.

"While we are pleased that the University Hospital of South Manchester has taken action to avoid this oversight in the future, we will continue to work with healthcare bodies and education providers to make sure that data protection training is a mandatory part of people's education."

Mandy Bailey, chief nurse at UHSM, said the student, who was on a short placement at Wythenshawe Hospital, was based mostly at another Manchester hospital.

"There was an expectation by UHSM that the student would have completed mandatory data protection training at that Trust. However, this turned out to not be the case," she said.

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