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Midwife's lost diary sparks mums and baby alert

Details thrown out with bath water?

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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 addresses of mothers and mums-to-be has disappeared from a health trust in Greater Manchester.

An unnamed Rochdale Infirmary-based community midwife who works at the Pennine Acute NHS Trust reported that her handwritten book was lost. She also apologised for the mishap but insisted that clinical care had not been “compromised” by the loss.

"We've written to let women know of this issue because they have a right to know that the diary has gone missing,” consultant midwife Eileen Stringer told the beeb. "We have assured them that this in no way compromises any of their clinical care – this is a diary, not health records.”

About 345 women in a family way or with child have been contacted by the trust. The book covered midwifery appointments between January and July this year.

"To set some context, more than 2,000 women give birth at the infirmary annually. There is no need for anyone who has not been contacted by us to take any action whatsoever," said Stringer. She added that staff use of quaint diaries containing actual written words would be reviewed.

Anxious pregnant women and harangued new mums worried about the details contained in the diary can phone a special information line. Stringer said the trust has “carried out a very extensive search for the diary, but it has not been found yet. If it is found then obviously we will let people know."

All of which prompts the question, where's a Jaysusfone when you need one, eh? ®

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