PERFORMANCE: The Information Commissioner’s Office has found Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust in breach of the Data Protection Act, after it lost the medical papers of 31 children and their mothers last autumn.

Liverpool CHT, which was formally established as an NHS trust on 1 November, had been delivering community services as an arm’s length body of the primary care trust when it lost the documents during a premises move in October.

The Information Commissioner’s Office found NHS Liverpool, as the PCT legally responsible for community services in the city at the time, breached the act by having no formal contract with the removal company used to handle the papers or no process to ensure personal data was secure during the move.

Liverpool Community Health chief executive Bernie Cuthel has undertaken to ensure a written contract will always be in place with any third parties handling personal data.

Sally Anne Poole, acting head of enforcement at the ICO, said the incident “should act as a warning to other organisations who handle sensitive papers”.

A spokesman for Liverpool Community Health said the trust “deeply regrets the loss of data”.

The trust is to implement a new electronic records system for all services.