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Trust sorry over diary blunder

A hospital trust is reviewing the use of hand-held diaries by staff after it was forced to apologise after a community midwife lost the names and addresses of hundreds of new and expectant mothers.

The Pennine Acute Trust wrote to 345 women in the Rochdale area of Greater Manchester after the community midwife lost her diary last week.

The hand-written diary covered her antenatal and postnatal appointments between January and July 2008.

A trust spokesman said the diary contained patients' telephone numbers and addresses but no medical information.

Eileen Stringer, consultant midwife at Rochdale Infirmary where the community midwife is based, said: "We would like to apologise for any inconvenience or concerns which this has caused.

"We've written to let women know of this issue because they have a right to know that the diary has gone missing. The letters include details of an information line in case they have any concerns.

"We have assured them that this in no way compromises any of their clinical care - this is a diary, not health records."

The trust spokesman said the women who had contacted the helpline had been very understanding.

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Pennine Acute Trust