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back to article Midwife's lost diary sparks mums and baby alert

UK public sector workers have performed a sterling job of losing sensitive digital data stored on CDs, stolen laptops and wot-not over the past year. But it’s important to note that sometimes, good old fashioned paper-based documents go missing too. The Beeb reports today that a midwife’s diary storing hundreds of names and …

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Encryption

It's a diary. It will be encrypted. Every teenager knows that.

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There's nothing to worry about though...

The data was encrypted...

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No encryption?

Sack her!

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Anonymous Coward

So what's the problem?

If it's just names and addresses which have gone missing, what exactly is the problem? It's not like some crook is going to find it and cry "Mwah ha haaaa! Now I have a book of precious addresses, and as such, I shall burgle each of their homes in alphabetical order"

All of this information is available in about a thousand other formats anyway. If you want to pair a name with an address, just look in the freaking phone book.

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Coat

It was encrypted

Have you ever tried to read the handwriting of a healthcare professional? Eligible scrawl isn't just for the doctors you know.

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@Roger Paul

Well to be fair, by today's 3 r's standards, text that's not typed on a computer is probably illegible anyway to most thieves, you can almost see them sitting down with a scanner and a copy of the oxford English dictionary trying to decode it right now....

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Paper diaries

"staff use of quaint diaries containing actual written words would be reviewed."

Quite right. The NHS should replace them with something costing 100 times as much and allowing staff to lose a million times more information at once.

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Paris Hilton

what data?

Now i'm going to assume this being a 'diary' it had like "July 23rd Mrs Jones 8 month check" which would let the potential finder know that if they watch Mrs Jones house around the 23rd July they'll have a nice big time window for ransacking Mrs Jones house???

-PH cos we'd all like to ransack her

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IT Angle

I'm struggling

Why is this a news story that's getting every Daily Mail reader excited?

It's a list of names, addresses and births - all easily obtainable from a combination of BT and the local newspaper.

What harm could be done with this?????

'IT?' - because it's not worthy of reporting here, BBC News or the local rag.

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Ru
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Re: So what's the problem?

In two 'words':

OMG pedos!

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FFS!

"Health worker misplaces diary!"

Ten years ago this wouldn't even have made page ten of the local newspaper! Now, in our new-found culture of data-loss paranoia, it's front-page news.

Whilst its perfectly reasonable for the health authority to have *some* concern about this, it's hardly big news. No doubt there'll be a call to have the midwife sacked and paper diaries replaced by "secure" IT systems.

What next? "Postman knows where you live - ID theft shocker!!"

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Coat

@Skinny

Are you saying that midwives' handwriting isn't ineligible for illegibility?

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Paris Hilton

The real problem

The real problem is that she now has to restore all the appointments etc that she was due to make. I don't envy her the task of going through all that paper work and if the NHS is not willing to supply suitably encrypted water-proof electronic hand held devices with centralised backup servers combined with a DR option and business continuity plan so that health professionals can keep their appointments, I don't know what the world is coming too.

Paris because she is a babe!

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Eligible scrawl???

What on Earth is 'Eligible scrawl'? Scrawl that is allowed to claim some sort of benefit? I think the word you're looking for is 'illegible' matey. I guess that's some sort of encryption...?

Not pedantic, just fed up of ambiguous English...

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Anonymous Coward

re. So what's the problem?

How dare you take this so lightly! It's either Phorm, attempting to target ads for Pampers more selectively, or someone trying to find the date of the next gynocologist's knees-up.

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I can see it now

NHS IT contract for PDA devices for all staff, only it will cost twice as much as normal because of "consultancy fees" and a jolly for NHS managers to go somewhere foreign and see what it is like over there.

Russia invades Georgia possibly sparking the biggest war / resources problem in decades. International food shortages, And energy crisis (we get all ours from russia right?), recession and something to do with olympics being on at the moment.

Must be a slow news day...

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Unhappy

It's A Cover-Up, Brian.

Obviously this was "leaked" by someone from Westminster as a way to stop all us spotty oiks taking the pi** when another Government Minister/Lackey loses something - sort of saying "Look, it's not just our incompetant b***a*** who do it!"

.

No it aint, which we all know but it's fun to poke fun at you anyway.

.

But at least she only lost a small collection of names and addresses, not the entire Northern Region medical or Child Tax Credit records - unlike the Whitehall drones have managed...

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

"Not pedantic, just fed up of ambiguous English..."

Presumably you meant: "fed up with ambiguous English"?

(At least, I hope you did...)

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Anonymous Coward

Why the fuss?

"The book covered Stringer’s midwifery appointments between January and July this year."

So it's all archaic data anyway. No burglaries can be planned, unless they've got time-travelling capability.

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IT Angle

Burglary outbreak ?

Presumably only useful to burglars desperate to steal used nappies, anyway.

Does this count as softwear theft ?

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Joke

@alistair

Oh come come. No one cares about the Olympics, the recession, or even a dumb "war" between Russia and a former part of their country. This is REAL NEWS, dontcha know?

Oh, but I don't get my cars from Russia. *shudder*

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Flame

Anyone consider that....

some people go through great measures to steal newborns and infants.

It may be unlikely that this case will result in such an instance, but here in the U.S. (yes, we are all evil) there have been multiple cases of mothers being murdered by INFORMED CRIMINALS who take their fully gestated child via back alley C-sections.

I'm a father with a 2 year old. When we went to the hospital for the delivery both my wife and I received I.D. bracelets. Is this same practice followed on the other side of the pond? Is it the case that the U.K. has no psychotics or criminals?

This is not IT, but it is serious.

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@Encryption

Nurses/midwives usually have frighteningly legible handwriting. Now, if they'd nicked my diary, things would have been different! (Actually, I gave up using a paper based diary cos even I can't read my own handwriting)

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Paris Hilton

NHS and medical records

(paper) medical records get lost all the time. i worked for an NHS trust whilst a student and they would go AWOL on a regular basis. on one occasion we got an SHO in deep dodo because they had left a stack of medical notes on the front seat of a their car which was sat in the hospital car park

nothing sensitive in there, test results, medical history, dates of appointments

Paris cos we'd love to see the contents of her diary

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@ Pete W

"... multiple cases of mothers being murdered by INFORMED CRIMINALS who take their fully gestated child via back alley C-sections."

Gack... sputter.... ah... surely Pete you can quote a source on that? I mean, other than snopes.com?

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IT Angle

Pete W huh ???:

"The book covered Stringer’s midwifery appointments between January and July this year."

For those saying that people could plan burglaries they would mostly be going by old dates so they would help. And for future dates the potential burglar will know precisely when NOT to burgle the house as the Midwife will in the vast majority of cases make house calls. Can't burgle the place when Mother, Midwife, and possibly Father as well, are all in the house.

At most the information will be dates of appointments, names and addresses, and length, weight, and details of any problems or followup data on the child. Nothing out of the ordinary and certainly not going to provide some ne'er-do-wells with the capability to perform grand larceny.

@ Pete W.......huh WTF ??? Seriously, you are going to have to provide proof for a claim like that. And "so me bloke in the pub's brothers cousins girlfriends sister....." does not count as proof.

As for admission to UK Maternity Wards and Neo-Natal units. You will not be let in unless they recognise you AND you identify yourself and they confirm who you are. They WILL challenge ANYONE they don't know and refuse more than 2 visitors at a time.

My son was born 3 months premature and the Neo-Natal units saw me so often they didn't even need to ask who I was anymore. I pressed the buzzer to gain access, they saw me on the camera, and let me in. But then I did practically in the Neo-Natal units :)

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