Personal information about patients in Britain's free health care system has been lost, the Department of Health acknowledged Sunday - the third loss of data about the public by a government service this year. Nine of the trusts that oversee Britain's National Health Service have acknowledged losing information about patients, an apparent violation of strict data protection rules by the health service. The Department of Health said that it did not have an overall number on the patients whose personal data have been lost. But it said they have been informed and that there is no evidence that the information has fallen "into the wrong hands." "Investigations are under way in all the trusts involved and action will be taken against anyone who has failed to fulfill their legal responsibilities," the government agency said in a statement.