OXFORDSHIRE patients’ notes are being sent to India to be processed, the Oxford Mail can reveal.

Notes dictated on to audio tapes by clinicians at the Oxford University Hospitals Trust (OUH) are sent to the firm Alden Press to be transcribed. The company then sends them digitally to India.

Paul Brennan, OUH’s director of clinical services said: “The trust produces patient notes following clinics every week.

“Most are dictated on to audio tapes by our doctors.

“They are then anonymised, encrypted and sent by secure server to the company who currently provide this service for us.

“The trust tenders this service out to get the best possible value for money for the trust and the best service for patients.”

Jacquie Pearce-Gervis, of Oxfordshire based watchdog Patient Voice, said she had not heard of any problems locally but it was a shame medical secretaries were no longer used for the work.