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Patient information lost in Britain

December 24, 2007|From the Associated Press

LONDON — Personal information about patients in Britain's free healthcare system has been lost, the Health Department acknowledged Sunday. It was the third time this year that a government service lost data about the public.

Nine of the trusts that oversee Britain's National Health Service have acknowledged losing information about patients, an apparent violation of strict data-protection rules.

The Health Department said it did not have a total number of patients whose data was lost. But it said they had been informed and that there was no evidence that the information had fallen "into the wrong hands."

"Investigations are underway in all the trusts involved, and action will be taken against anyone who has failed to fulfill their legal responsibilities," the government agency said in a statement.

This month, information on 3 million driving-test candidates was reported lost. Earlier, tax officials lost sensitive data.

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