NHS data breach hits 150,000 patients
An NHS data breach hit 150,000 after an IT glitch failed to record the wishes of patients who had opted-out of their medical data being used for research and auditing.
We’ve already accepted a number of cases for patients who have been affected by the huge NHS data breach. We are taking forward claims for data breach compensation for anyone who has received notification that they have been affected by the breach.
With 150,000 patients affected by the issue, this is a huge breach with the potential for GDPR implications to be imposed.
How the NHS data breach happened
The NHS data breach was caused by a coding error that resulted in the software used by GPs to record objections for patient data being used for research and auditing not being passed on to NHS England’s IT provider.
An error with the software at the heart of the breach, known as SystemOne, meant that patient objections to use of their personal and sensitive medical data was not referred. As a result, patients who had specifically opted out for their data being used in such a way have potentially had their data misused.
Given that medical records are often very personal and sensitive, there’s a very good reason as to why patients are allowed to opt-out of their data being used in such a way. Unfortunately, the coding error means the wishes of some patients who had opted-out has not been honoured.
What this means for patients hit by the NHS data breach
The NHS has confirmed that patients hit by the massive NHS data breach will be contacted by letter to inform them that they have been affected. A number of victims have already approached us for help having received notification that their opt-out decision has not been properly recorded as a result of the error.
Although the developer of the system, TPP, “apologises unreservedly” for what has happened, the medical data may already have been passed on against the specific wishes of the patients.
NHS data breaches are unfortunately common
NHS data breaches are unfortunately common, with the healthcare sector continually leading the way when it comes to number of breaches committed. The fact that the data breached in these scenarios is incredibly personal and sensitive medical data often means the impact of the breach for the victims can be serious.
With experiencing fighting for the rights of victims of well-known NHS data breaches, like the 56 Dean Street Clinic breach of 2015, and large-scale cyberattacks like the WannaCry attack of last year almost bringing the NHS to its knees, it’s clear to us that more still needs to be done to protect patients from falling victim to NHS data breaches.
One simple coding error can cost lives. We saw this with the recent NHS Breast Cancer Screening scandal where a coding error resulted in a large volume of women not receiving their invitation for life-saving breast cancer screening.
Victims of the NHS data breach can contact us for help
Victims of the NHS data breach are welcome to contact us for help by calling the team on 0800 634 75 75 or completing a form below.
We have already accepted a number of cases on a No Win, No Fee basis. If you have been affected, we may be able to help you.
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