AN investigation has been launched after an unencrypted memory card containing medical information on patients at Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust was lost in London.

The stick, which also contained images of three patients, went missing during a conference in March.

OUH said it had reviewed the case in detail and that the information security breach was an isolated incident.

An investigation by the Information Commissioners Office is currently underway.

OUH spokeswoman Marianna Russo said: "There was one file on the memory stick which was a presentation to be used at a meeting.

"The presentation used three patients’ information and their consent for this use had been obtained.

"The memory stick should have been encrypted, but was not and the member of staff has been reminded it is trust policy to use encrypted memory sticks.

"The member of staff has undergone refresher training on Information Governance in line with trust procedure.

"Again in line with the trust policy, the individuals (referred to by first name only in the presentation) have been informed, as has the ICO.

"The trust takes patient rights for their data to be kept confidential very seriously."

It was the fourth information security breach at the trust between April 2017 and March 2018.

In July 2017 two paper diaries containing patient information were taken and 'covert recordings' were made by an ex-staff member.

In September 2017 a spread sheet containing information about medical trainees and details about their training supervisor were emailed to medical trainees in error.

While in November two clinical letters containing sensitive medical information were stapled together and sent out by mistake.

The ICO has investigated each of these incidents and taken no further action.