Medical records were found on the pavement next to a bin in Dundee
The notes, with sensitive information on 22 patients from Dundee, Angus and Fife, include names, ages and addresses.
It is understood the papers give details of personal health issues for people aged between 40 to 93.
The documents were found by a man, close to a block of flats in the West port area of the city lying on the pavement next to a bin.
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said the board had apologised to patients and an investigation had been launched. The documents have been returned to the health board.
She said: “We are extremely sorry that this hospital document has been found in a public place and we have launched an investigation. We are already contacting those patients who are affected to apologise and explain to them what the document contains.
“The document is a patient briefing sheet which is used every day by all members of staff on a ward. It accurately records the current clinical status and the specific care information relating to each patient so every member of staff on any shift throughout the day is aware of the individual needs of each of their patients. It is usually in use when teams hand over care at times of shift change.
“Although this document does not contain detailed medical records it does record patients’ names, ages and their current clinical status. It should clearly not leave the hospital.
“We take patient confidentiality and the safeguarding of patient information very seriously and therefore we have already taken steps to reinforce the requirement for all staff to always be alert to the importance of keeping patient information secure and confidential.”
As reported on STV Glasgow