An NHS trust has told patients that it is acting to improve its data handling practices after a rebuke from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for losing a CD containing details on 1.6 million people.
Chief executive of NHS Kent and Medway Ann Sutton said that information is now more secure following the implementation of encryption systems to replace the use of floppy discs and CDs.
Last week the trust was handed an undertaking by the information watchdog after sending the personal information to a landfill during an office move in March. The ICO said the data contained the names, addresses, dates of birth, NHS numbers and GP details of those affected.
In a statement on the trust's website, Sutton said that the data had not been recovered and that the trust had accepted the ICO's report on the incident.
She said: "While the breach was unfortunate, I would like to reassure patients that the data stored in the filing cabinet was not current - the most recent information was from 2002.
Sutton added: "We have already strengthened our information governance policies, procedures and training on the basis of our internal investigation of the incident. The information commissioner's recommendations to improve them further will be implemented fully." ®