Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Mental health patient data lost on Isle of Man

A memory stick containing the personal details of more than 100 mental health patients and staff has been lost on the Isle of Man.

The device, lost by a worker from Praxis Care, contained names, addresses and in some cases care records.

The company is contracted by the Department of Social Care to help people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions.

It said 99 out of the 107 people affected had so far been informed.

Five more people were expected to have been informed by the end of Friday.

'Changes in place'

The remaining three individuals will be notified when circumstances allow or when they are available, the company added.

A statement released jointly by the department and Praxis Care said all service users and carers involved have also received a letter detailing their individual loss plus an apology.

A helpline has been set up for anyone concerned about the confidentiality of their details.

The memory stick was lost in August but the details only emerged on Friday.

Praxis Care chief executive Nevin Ringland said: "We apologise unreservedly to those individuals affected by the loss of this memory stick.

"Praxis Care is committed to providing high quality support services to people with mental health problems and people with learning disabilities.

"We have already put changes in place to significantly reduce the risk of this happening again. We would like to reassure people there has been no indication that the memory stick has fallen into the hands of a third party."

Department of Social Care chief executive Chris Corlett said: "On behalf of the department, may I add my apologies for the distress caused to the service users and staff affected.

"The department's professionals responsible for the care of the affected service users have worked hard to ensure that the individuals are informed of the loss in the most appropriate way and to ensure support is then available."

He added: "The department and its third sector partners provide services to over 2,500 individuals with mental health conditions and/or learning disabilities, many of whom may be concerned to hear of this data loss and are worried to know whether they are affected.

"May I reiterate that if you have not already been contacted then your information has not been lost."

The stick is silver with the brand name Verbatim written in black.

Anyone who finds it has been urged to contact Praxis Care in Douglas.

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