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Big rise in number of lost and stolen NHS prescriptions

6 March 2009

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Prescription forms containing patient details are being lost or stolen at the rate of 200 a day, the Tories have revealed.

They had found out that 46,000 went missing in 2007/08, 49% more than the 31,000 that were lost or stolen the year before.

The forms went missing in transit between pharmacies in England and the arm of the NHS that reimburses the costs. They contain name, address, NHS number, date of birth and details of the drugs prescribed.

The Conservatives claimed that the government is still sending prescriptions by courier rather than electronically, despite a pledge to do so by 2004.

Said health secretary Andrew Lansley: “The Labour government has showed time and again that it is utterly incapable of protecting people’s most private details which have been entrusted to them.

“This isn’t just the odd mistake here and there; this is now equivalent to almost 200 prescription forms lost every single day.

“It is now nine years since Labour promised to introduce electronic prescriptions which would save costs and be more secure, but patients are still waiting for them to deliver.

“Worryingly, the situation seems to be getting worse, with increasing numbers of prescriptions being lost in recent years.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

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