A laptop which held the private records of more than 5,000 hospital patients has been stolen. And no, you haven't read this story before. That was an MoD laptop with 200 soldiers' details. Keep up.

The Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook went missing from the Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, in early January. All 5,123 anticoagulation patients have since received letters saying: "Er, sorry, we seem to have lost your private data. Sorry. Sorry." I paraphrase, of course.

On the plus side, the data is protected by username and password. And although that wouldn't be too onerous to crack, the chances are that a bloke who walks with a laptop from a hospital waiting room is unlikely to be the hub of a gang of international data theives.

If you have any information about the theft (other than: "it's another example of the inadequacy of public sector data security"), call the boys in blue on 0845 113 5000.

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