A laptop was stolen from Barnet Hospital last month, prompting fears that patients' data could be compromised.

The computer was taken from the offices of the Stoma Care Service at the hospital, in Wellhouse Lane, Barnet.The hospital is used by two thirds of Hertsmere patients.Alex Nunes, chairman of Barnet Hospital's Patient and Public Involvement forum, said the laptop's owner no longer works at the hospital."I feel very upset that this has happened. If they can determine that there was a lapse in security they can tighten it up," he said. "It would be very regrettable if there was patient data on there, but at this stage it's not known what was on it."A Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust spokeswoman said: "The laptop held a database of stoma care patients. "The database is login and password protected and a separate Trust login and password is required to operate the laptop."Accessing patient information will therefore be difficult. We have no evidence that the patient information on the missing laptop has been accessed."We would like to apologise for any concern this matter has caused those patients affected, and would like to reassure them that information on the database is unlikely to be recoverable."She said the trust would write to affected patients, and that a help line would be set up for those concerned about the theft.A spokesman for NHS London said: "There were two levels of password security to get through. One to access the software and one to access information. "It would be quite a job for anyone to get to any data on there."