Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust has pledged to tighten security procedures after the theft of three laptops containing patient data.

It follows findings by the Information Commissioner’s Office that the trust was in breach of the Data Protection Act when the laptops were taken from the audiology department.

One contained the test results of 33 patients, personal data held between 2006 and 2009 and personal details of an unknown number of patients from between 2003 and 2006.

The trust has now undertaken to encrypt personal data held on laptops and other removable media, and improve security measures to ensure personal data is more effectively protected.

Information Commissioner’s Office spokesman Mick Gorrill said: “It is vital that organisations handle sensitive personal data securely, especially where patients’ details are concerned.

“I am pleased that Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust will be taking remedial action to improve data security to ensure that it complies with the Data Protection Act.”