Letters about patients which are sent to GPs by Epsom and St Helier hospitals are being typed in India - a move which one MP has slammed as "outrageous".

Between December 2011 and March 31 this year, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust has sent 11,054 letters electronically to India for typing.

The data came to light following a freedom of information request submitted by John Spellar, Labour MP for Warley.

In a statement on his website, Mr Spellar said: "This is an outrageous revelation.

"Unemployment in the UK is at unacceptable levels and the economy is suffering the worst double dip recession since the Second World War.

"This is work that could easily be based and carried out in the UK, maintaining jobs and keeping opportunities for our young people."

But a spokeswoman for Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust said no one has been made redundant due to the typing service and it allows administrative staff to provide more focused support to doctors, nurses and patients.

She said: "Since we made the changes, the average time it takes to send a letter to a patient’s GP has been reduced by more than half - from three weeks on average, to less than a week at the end of June.

"No patient-identifiable data, such as names or date of birth, are sent out of our hospitals."

West Middlesex University Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Whittington Health NHS Trust and Kingston Hospital NHS Trust were also found to use the outsourcing system.