Healthcare breaches are common, but it can also be a case of them being more likely to be reported. Whichever way you look at it, something needs to be done about the continually growing trend of medical data breaches.
All those who work in the healthcare sector have a duty to not disclose, mishandle, or misuse a patients’ personal information. In fact, this is the very foundation of a patient / doctor relationship. However, while most people believe their personal information is protected, data breaches by the NHS and the healthcare sector remain far too common.
The wealth of sensitive data with the NHS
The NHS in particular holds a wealth of information about us. Due to how much information they have on us, data breaches by the NHS can be a major concern for those affected by healthcare data breaches.
One of the most frustrating things about NHS data leaks is that we’re required to share a wealth of our personal information with them. Unlike businesses that we arguably have more of an option of when it comes to how much of our personal information we chose to share with them, when it comes to sharing information with the NHS, it’s often more out of necessity, and it can be some of our most personal information.
Previous research and reports
Reports have been carried out on the NHS, and they often find that patient confidentiality is breached on average five times a week, and they’ve found that patient information has been shared on social media websites.
Previous reports found an average of 268 data breach incidents took place each year.
Of the figures in this research in question, there were at least 23 incidents where NHS staff had posted patients’ medical information on social media sites; 57 incidents where medical information was lost or stolen; and 129 incidents where NHS staff accessed the private medical information of their colleagues and family members.
A report carried out by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that, between January and March 2015/2016, healthcare services suffered 184 data breaches; 141 more than the second highest, which was the local government who had 43. There was a difference of 167 incidents between land and property services who had suffered the lowest amount of data breaches at 17.
Both reports found that the healthcare sector continues to account for the most data security breaches. This could be due to the NHS making it mandatory to report incidents, and / or it could be the size of the healthcare sector and the sensitivity of the data processed. If the NHS has only now made it mandatory for all data breaches to be reported, then how long and how often has our data been breached over previous years?
Due to the sensitivity of our information and how distressing it can be to have our personal information breached, medical data breaches are often seen as the worst.
We can help!
At the Data Leak Lawyers, we’re at the heart of data breach compensation and have helped many victims of healthcare data leaks, hacks, and breaches. We’ve been leading a fight for justice for the infamous 56 Dean Street from 2015, where the confidential medial status of almost 800 people at a sexual health clinic was leaked.
If you have been affected by a medical data breach, please don’t hesitate to contact us for free, confidential advice.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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