A REVIEW has been launched by Poole Hospital NHS Trust after patients’ details were stolen from a bag and hidden within the hospital.

Both police and the information commissioner have been informed of the theft and affected patients have also been contacted by hospital staff.

Details belonging to “a number of patients” were taken when a bag was stolen on June 21 but were later recovered and the trust says that it believes that the information had not been shared with anyone.

The bag was taken from after being left in the hospital’s trauma ward and the documents contained within it were later found hidden in the building.

In a report to the trust’s board, its chief executive Debbie Fleming says: “A bag was stolen from a room in the hospital which contained personal information relating to a number of our patients.

“The documents that were recovered from the bag (which had been discarded and hidden within the hospital) are now being appropriately secured.

“Based on the information obtained to date, we do not believe that the information left trust premises at any point and it is unlikely that the information has been used for any other purpose or shared with anyone else.

“However, the trust considers any information breach as a very serious matter.”

The trust has written to the affected patients informing them of what happened and the trust has also reported the incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office and to Dorset Police.

Staff have also been “reminded” of their responsibility for ensuring that patient information is held securely.

“Once the results of the investigation are known, the trust will take further action as appropriate to avoid such a situation happening again,” the report adds.

The data breach is the second of its kind within Dorset NHS trusts so far this year.

In February, a laptop and notepad with patients’ personal details was stolen from the laptop of a Poole-based employee of Dorset HealthCare Trust.

While the laptop was fully encrypted, it, along with the notepad, has still not been recovered, despite police involvement.