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Hospital apologies to Sir Alex Ferguson over spying incident
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Hospital apologies to Sir Alex Ferguson over spying incident

Salford Royal Hospital has issued an apology to Sir Alex Ferguson over staff caught spying on his medical records when he was under their care.

We’ve written a lot about NHS staff who have accessed medical records without need or authority. It has happened so many times that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has had to enforce multiple prosecutions, and released general warnings to staff not to abuse data they can access.

The incident involving Sir Alex Ferguson isn’t the first of its kind, nor is it the first of its kind when it comes to celebrity snooping as well.

Sir Alex Ferguson data breach incident

The data breach involving Sir Alex Ferguson related to his time in hospital after he fell ill earlier this summer. He was in ICU for several days and remained in hospital for around two weeks after suffering a brain haemorrhage.

It has since transpired that as many as two doctors, a senior consultant and two nurses reportedly accessed his medical records. They did do without any need at all and without any authority to do so.

This looks like a classic case of celebrity snooping.

NHS staff are in charge of a huge wealth of very personal and sensitive data. No one has the right to access records without a proper need to do so. Despite this, curiosity can get the better of people, and it’s just wrong.

Salford Royal has since “apologised unreservedly to the patient and their family” over the incident.

Not the first incident of its kind

Sir Alex Ferguson having his medical records spied on isn’t the first incident of its kind. Ed Sheeran was subject to the same thing earlier this year as well that led to a HR investigation against staff.

We also often blog about incidents where the ICO has issued penalties and staff have lost their jobs for snooping on medical records. This latest incident involving Sir Alex Ferguson comes as no surprise to us at all unfortunately.

We ourselves represent victims for medical data breach cases as well. Compensation claims for medical data breaches are incredibly common, and one of the most common types of cases we deal with.

It is never OK for staff to spy and snoop on incredibly private and sensitive medical data. If it ever happens, victims can be entitled to claim for data breach compensation.

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