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We naturally expect that healthcare professionals and their support staff will treat our private data with the respect it deserves, only viewing, accessing or sending information when it is strictly necessary. However, there are unfortunately certain individuals who seek to take advantage of the access they are given. NHS staff misusing information are not only breaking with professional standards, they could also be breaching data protection law.
As leading specialists in data breach claims, we have encountered a number of cases in which patient information has been accessed or processed unlawfully by employees. Using our expertise in this area of law, we remind employees that they cannot get away with the misuse of patient records, ensuring that they face consequences for their actions.
In cases where staff are found guilty of breaching data protection regulations, the victims could be eligible to claim compensation. Medical data is often highly sensitive, and no one should ever be made to feel that such information has been compromised or put a risk. If you have been affected by an incident like this, you can contact us for advice on your potential compensation claim.
Although NHS staff are granted access to patient information to ensure that patients can access the care they need, this does not mean that employees are free to browse databases at their leisure. Where data access is happening outside the bounds of an employee’s professional duties, this can constitute a data protection breach.
For example, in the Greater Manchester NHS data breach of 2019, over 2,000 patients learned that their information had been subjected to snooping, meaning that employees had been accessing their private records without a valid purpose or appropriate authorisation. Among the information affected were test results and discharge letters.
NHS staff misusing information could be subjected to disciplinary action, whether this involves suspension or sacking. In some cases, where necessary, their right to work in public sector organisation again could also be revoked.
In addition, if you have been a victim of NHS staff misusing information, you may be able to make a compensation claim. The incident does not even have to have involved the theft or sharing of your records, as viewing your information without authorisation can be a breach of regulations in itself.
On top of compensation for the breach itself, you could be additionally entitled to recover damages for any distress you have suffered as a result.
The NHS is often at the centre of data breach scandals, whether they involve cybersecurity incidents, employee errors, or NHS staff misusing information. In any of these cases, victims may be able to claim compensation for the harm caused.
We have been representing victims for privacy matters since 2014, and the specialist expertise we have developed in data breach claims enables us to fight for the maximum compensation for our clients. To receive free, no-obligation advice from our expert team, contact us today or register your details for a call-back.
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