Norfolk's largest hospital was forced to pay out almost £47,000 in compensation following data breaches, it has emerged.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital paid £46,875 to the victims of five separate data breaches between 2020 and 2023.

The figure is the second largest of any NHS trust in the country - according to newly published statistics.

Of the five breaches, four involved data belonging to patients and resulted in pay-offs of £26,875 combined.

A fifth data breach saw a single claim of £20,000 made against the trust, which a spokeswoman said was down to a "contractual issue".

The spokeswoman said: "We follow NHS requirements as set out by the NHS data security and protection toolkit, of which we are compliant.

"We take our use of data extremely seriously and have a well-established mandatory approach to information governance training for all our staff - without exception.

"Any breach is fully investigated so that lessons can be learned."

The figures were released following a Freedom of Information request from personal injury solicitors firm Legal Expert - which found that nationwide, NHS trusts had paid out £1.5m in data breach claims since 2021.

Eleanor Coleman, a data breach specialist from the firm, said a 21pc increase in breaches between 2022 and 2023 was "worrying".

A spokesman for NHS England said: "Organisations that have access to NHS data and systems are required to practise and provide evidence of good data security so that personal information is handled correctly.

"It is vital that health and care organisations do everything they can to meet their legal responsibilities and data security standards, as well as reporting any breaches so that lessons can be learned and improvements made."

The one trust to pay out more than the N&N was the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, which made payments of almost £80,000.