Information Commissioner Richard Thomas has said that the NHS must tighten up on data security after 14 Trusts were taken to task for serious medical data breaches over the last six months.
Mr Thomas has written to the Department of Health seeking measures that would improve security immediately. The data breaches over the last six months have seen medical details of 700 hospital patients and over 6,000 prisoners leaked.
The Independent newspaper reported that almost 140 data breaches occurred in the NHS.
A Department of Health spokesman said anyone who breached NHS security would be adequately punished. He added that the department was providing, "a secure NHS network for exchanging information that is centrally monitored and strongly protected and secure NHS e-mail facilities that encrypts all data in its system."