An NHS data protection breach can be absolutely devastating for the victim, and it’s important that people know their rights when it comes to compensation and justice.
Like many organisations, the NHS is moving into the digital era with greater reliance on technology and accessible information. This can be valuable for treating and diagnosing patients faster, and it can also be invaluable for medical research to improve services across the board.
However, it can also mean that more data is being digitally stored; data is far more accessible; and sensitive information can be more easily shared. This means that the responsibilities for the organisations – as well as for its employees – to safeguard the data held is even more important. When things go wrong, the victims can be entitled to justice by way of an NHS data breach compensation claim.
More NHS data protection breach incidents
There appears to have been a large increase in the number of NHS data protection breach incidents taking place in recent years. A lot of this comes down to the increasing digitisation of services.
As lawyers, we have seen the increase from the work that we carry out for victims. Thousands of people have come to us for our specialist help as a leading data breach compensation law firm, and many of those are for medical data breach clams. In fact, a large volume of the new cases that we take forward involve medical information being misused or exposed.
The introduction of the GDPR in May 2018 has undoubtedly increased awareness when it comes to people’s rights for justice. It has also instilled a greater sense of understanding in terms of people wanting the rules for data protection to be as tight as possible. We’re aware of how easily data can be shared, and how valuable medical data is to big businesses. People want protections in place, and many don’t want their information to be shared so easily and without their specific consent.
When can you claim for an NHS data protection breach?
There are so many ways you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation as a victim of an NHS data protection breach.
Simple examples can include:
- Your information being leaked by accident, or disclosed without your proper authority;
- Medical data being shared with third parties without proper consent;
- NHS employees snooping on records and inappropriately accessing medical data. Last year, there was a mass case of this that affected over 2,000 Greater Manchester patients;
- Data exposed from hacks.
When it comes to leaks and sharing, we have seen in the past just how easy this kind of incident can happen. The NHS Digital compensation action we’re representing people for was caused by a simple IT glitch that resulted in people’s data being shared when they had specifically opted-out of it being shared.
In 2017, the Royal Free Hospital was deemed to have breached the law when they shared the records of some 1.6 million patients with Google as part of their ‘DeepMind’ protect. The aim of the sharing was to reportedly try and improve medical services, but patients whose information had been shared were not fully informed.
And then we have the big leak incidents, which are ones we usually initiate group and multi-party actions for. The infamous 56 Dean Street clinic leak of 2015 and last year’s Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic email leaks both stemmed from mass emails being sent where the recipients’ information was visible. Both could have been prevented with the use of proper mailing software, and we have been representing a number of victims for both leaks for a while now.
Free, no-obligation advice
You can speak to our team for free, no-obligation advice if you want to know more about making a medical compensation claim that stems from an NHS data protection breach.
If we’re able to help you, we can offer No Win, No Fee representation. Given how personal and sensitive medical information is, data breach compensation amounts for these kinds of claims can be substantial.
We’re an expert data breach law firm. We specialise in data breach compensation claims, and we have been doing so for several years. We’re here to help you.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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