Page last updated at 14:11 GMT, Thursday, 23 April 2009 15:11 UK

Laptop with patient details taken

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
The laptop was stolen from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

A laptop containing personal details of almost 1,400 patients has been stolen from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

NHS Grampian said it was taken from a locked office cupboard in the gastro-intestinal area earlier this month.

It contained details of 1,392 patients including names and addresses, dates of birth, and coded clinical information.

The data is said to be double password protected. Grampian Police have been called in and an appeal has been made for the laptop to be returned.

NHS Grampian revealed on Thursday that the computer was stolen between 1730 BST on Wednesday 15 April and 0800 BST the following morning.

Dr Roelf Dijkhuizen
We do not know what the intentions are of people who steal these laptops
Dr Roelf Dijkhuizen
NHS Grampian medical director

The laptop was stolen from a locked office in a locked corridor in the department and contained details of 1,392 patients including names and addresses, date of birth, and coded clinical information.

However, NHS Grampian said the data was double password protected and the clinical information was numerically coded and impossible to interpret without the original software.

It is a grey Hewlett Packard 6120, with an NHS Grampian identification number of NHSG4422 and serial number HUB60310Y8.

Dr Roelf Dijkhuizen, medical director for NHS Grampian, told BBC Scotland: "The laptop was stolen while it was kept behind locked doors.

"We had to find out who those patients were and write to those patients to make them aware of what happened.

"We have asked the police to look into the situation."

He added: "We do not know what the intentions are of people who steal these laptops."

Further guidance is being issued to staff members to "reinforce existing data security policies and ensure that all computer records are appropriately secured".



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