'I had my cards stolen once but the culprits were not the most ambitious thieves'

At the last count I had a bank account, a joint bank account, a savings account, a joint savings account and a credit card. I tell you this not to demonstrate that life as an HSJjournalist brings financial largesse, but to bemoan the fact that in these days of heightened paranoia about identity theft each one of these demands its own password and security number.

I find it all rather exhausting. Two of them have identity codes that are 10 digits long. How on earth are we expected to remember all this stuff?

As yet I have been spared the horror of having my identity stolen. I did have my cards pinched once, but the culprits were not the most ambitious of thieves as they used my plastic to spend a grand total of£160 in Argos and Iceland (the frozen food chain rather than the country where, I think,£160 would cover the cost of a couple of pints of milk).

I mention this only because I have now been informed that to book a hospital appointment I will be given - yes, that's right - a password and security code so they know for sure that it is me wanting to sit for an hour waiting to be prodded. Obviously the system is intended to speed up the allocation process and ensure that the right patients end up in the right departments. But could there really be people who would want to steal this opportunity away from me?

A few years back I opened a letter intended for someone who had lived in my flat some time before. The woman had been granted an appointment at a leading London hospital but had neglected to tell them she had moved, despite presumably being on the waiting list for some time.

I am still curious to know if this was ever chased up as apparently when people 'fall off' waiting lists there is a tendency to think that they have suddenly become cured or no longer want treatment.

But what happens if you have simply forgotten your password?