Confidential patient records from Whipps Cross University Hospital have been found in the garden of a Potters Bar resident.

Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust has launched an investigation to find out how the blunder occurred.

The records, which are thought to include details of patients' serious illnesses, were found in a front garden in Coopers Lane, near Potters Bar.

The documents fell off a lorry carrying them to a depot to be destroyed.

A trust spokeswoman said: "We have robust procedures in place for the destruction of information containing patient details according to the Data Protection Act and employ an external contractor to carry out this work on its behalf following a strict protocol.

"The Trust takes issues around patient confidentiality very seriously and we have launched an investigation to establish if and when a failure of the procedure has taken place.

"As part of that process steps are in place for the urgent retrieval of any information which has been found by residents in Northaw."