Hundreds of blood tests have been stolen from a vehicle parked outside a GP office, leading to concerns over patient-identifiable data.
The van, which was used to collect pathology samples from practices, was stolen on 30 July from outside a GP practice in Surrey.
Samples from 10 GP practices had been collected to return for testing at the Epsom and St Helier Hospitals NHS Trust, at the time of theft.
Close to 200 patient blood samples were in the van.
Practices have started to contact affected patients to call them in for repeat tests.
Dr James Marsh, joint medical director at the local trust said: “Although we are deeply disappointed that someone would choose to steal the van and its contents, our absolute concern at the moment is making sure any impact on patients is minimal as possible.”
GPC member Dr Paul Cundy, whose practice uses the Epsom and St Helier pathology service, said samples are sent in with forms that give patients’ names, NHS number and date of birth.
He warned that recalling patients to take samples again would be a “huge amount of work”.
“It could be an entire session of a phlebotomist’s time for each of the practices,” he said.