NHS staff accessing neighbour’s medical records is NOT okay
healthcare data breaches caused by human error nhs staff medical record breaches

NHS staff accessing neighbour’s medical records is NOT okay

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There is a recent worrying trend of NHS staff being caught out snooping on people they know, or are related to, by abusing their powers to access their medical records.

Let’s be absolutely clear: it is NOT okay for any member of the NHS to access their neighbour’s medical records without good reason or due authorisation.

If you are informed that a member of the NHS staff has accessed your medical records in such a way, or if you discover it has happened, you may be entitled to claim for data protection breach compensation.

A nurse, doctor, or any administration staff who have access to medical records must adhere to the Data Protection Act at all times. We have covered this topic a lot and we have helped – and are helping – victims of data protection breaches where members of NHS staff have snooped on medical records of neighbours without reason or authorisation.

A recent example is the case of Marian Waddell – a 61-year-old former auxiliary nurse – who was fined for accessing her neighbour’s medical records without a valid legal reason. She had worked at the Royal Gwent Hospital when she accessed the records of her neighbour who was a patient at the Newport hospital.

Can you claim if the NHS access your medical records without a reason?

If you’re the neighbour of someone working for the NHS, and your medical records are accessed by that member of staff without any proper reason or authorisation, you may have a claim for data protection compensation.

This trend is worryingly common, and the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) have investigated numerous cases of staff accessing the medical records of people they know. They have dished out fines and prosecutions for a number of perpetrators who have breached data protection rules, and the statement is absolutely consistent and clear: it is NOT okay to access medical records of people you know when working for the NHS unless there is good reason and proper authorisation.

We can help

The NHS should notify you if you have been the victim of a data protection breach.

If you have been notified, or if you have discovered a breach has happened, contact our team for help and advice by calling 0800 634 7575 free from a landline or mobile.

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