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56 Dean Street Clinic Fined £180,000 by ICO; a move welcomed by our lawyers leading the fight for justice

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The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has concluded its investigations in to the 56 Dean Street Clinic data leak that saw the confidential HIV status of over 700 patients inadvertently leaked by email.

Our lawyers fighting for justice have welcomed the move by the ICO to fine the clinic following the breach. We’ve taken on a large number of cases since the leak, and we’re still taking instructions now (with the latest few being this week).

A “serious breach of law”

This serious breach has resulted in a number of victims coming forward for the compensation they deserve. This leak is one of the most serious breaches in the history of the NHS, and the victims claiming with us are understandably distraught.

The ICO has labelled this as a “serious breach of law” – and we agree.

As expert Data Leak Lawyers acting for a number of individuals for the 56 Dean Street leak here, as well as numerous other organisational and individual leaks, we have offered to help victims of the scandal with no win, no fee representation. We know from the nature of the leak and from our own client’s statements that this leak has had a profound effect on those involved.

This isn’t the first leak at the clinic, and it’s in a long line of leaks from both public and private organisations who have failed to protect extremely sensitive and confidential data.

“We fully accept the ruling”

Zoe Penn , the Medical Director of the Trust at the centre of the scandal, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, has said:

“We fully accept the ruling of the ICO for what was a serious breach and we have worked to ensure that it can never happen again. I reiterate my apology to all those that were affected by this incident.”

We have vowed to ensure that victims of the leak receive the compensation they deserve for what has happened, but a huge focus for us is on preventing these leaks from happening in the future. More should, and can, be done.

Patients left traumatised

It has to be remembered how serious this is. Sensitive and confidential information must always be treated as an absolute priority. Systems and procedures must be in place to prevent data from being inadvertently leaked.

The breach here at 56 Dean Street is a classic example of just how easy it is for private information to be inadvertently leaked. One click of an email with the names and addresses of recipients not hidden has led to one of the most serious data leaks in NHS history.

In a word from our team:

“We’ve said time and time again that this is a procedural problem caused by a lack of appropriate systems in place to safeguard confidential information. The member of staff who sent the email should never have been put in a position where such a simple but catastrophic thing could happen.
We’re in the digital age – we have the technology available to stop this from happening, but as a result of it not being utilised by the clinic, there are patients who have been left traumatised that their personal and confidential status has been leaked to other people.
We can’t stress enough just how bad this has been for many of the victims we act for.”

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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First published by Matthew on May 11, 2016
Posted in the following categories: Latest and tagged with

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