Published 28th of August 2014

The private medical records of more than 40,000 patients have been lost by the ambulance service for Nottinghamshire.

Data, including names, addresses, contact numbers and details of medical conditions, cover patients attended to by paramedics from September to November 2012.

East Midlands Ambulance Service says the floppy disk containing the information – can only be accessed by specific, now-obsolete hardware and the loss has been reported to the Information Commissioner.

The disc contains scanned copies of notes taken by paramedics when they attended 999 calls, as well as doctors' details and information about blood pressure, heart rate and other conditions.

Chief executive Sue Noyes said: "A data cartridge containing approximately 42,000 electronic copies of scanned handwritten Patient Report Forms, which are believed to be from September 2012 to November 2012, has gone missing from the divisional headquarters in Nottingham.

"The cartridge is small and there is a possibility that it is still on our premises, we are conducting a thorough search of the building."

If the ambulance service used SDS Document Scanning – there would be no reason for loss of data as all documents electronically scanned would be uploaded to our online portal where clients simply log onto the SDS system.

SDS would convert their entire back log of documents into an electronic format, allowing staff to respond to customer queries immediately online if needed. User licenses are created to allow for multiple offices to log into the SDS online web portal and view the company’s archived documents. SDS provides our client’s with a managed resource for efficient business processing.

Lloyd Williams, Shredall and SDS Managing Director comments “Once our customers files are quality checked, the documents are destroyed using SDS’s sister company Shredall Ltd. As well as offering an environmentally responsible disposal route for waste paper, Shredall and SDS demonstrate a high level chain of command and security in compliance with the Data Protection Laws.”

He continues“You would think that an NHS Trust would have more safeguards in place for patient data protection. It’s amazing how many companies with such important pieces of data are stored on a floppy disk and how SDS Document Scanning help’s can help companies with our advanced but affordable data scanning and tape rotation service.”

Shredall and SDS Document Storage and Scanning have many NHS clients nationwide, operating side by side, giving them a one stop solution for all active, stored and redundant records.