Our medical records are private and often very sensitive. Only those who we allow should access our medical records, and there should always be a good and justifiable reason to do so.
Despite this rather obvious sentiment, wrongful or needless access, or use of, medical records remains a problem that we have had to help people claim for. It can sometimes be people we know who have access to our records and access them for wrongful means, or it could be someone accessing records to change them, or to use information from them for financial gain.
It happens, and we have helped people who have had to claim when their records have been unduly accessed.
Our Data Leak Lawyers are busy helping people claim for data leaks and data breaches all the time. Medical breaches are often the most common, as well as being the more serious in nature.
In terms of how the law works, it can be straightforward.
If a patient’s medical records are accessed improperly, the patient may be entitled to compensation for the data breach. Given that medical records contain some of the most private and confidential information about ourselves, it’s understandable why this kind of breach can cause a great deal of distress.
In July this year a nurse in South Wales was sacked when it was discovered she had accessed records for over 3,000 patients without any proper reason. Patients were notified of the breach, and the ICO were informed, as well as the police being notified.
Although it is stated that there were apparently no alterations or evidence to show that information in the records was used that could cause anyone harm or distress, the mere fact it happened is a serious enough concern. It was treated as a breach of patient confidentiality and an act outside of the professional code of conduct.
Has this happened to you?
The NHS or your doctor should tell you if your medical records have been accessed improperly.
If you have been notified of a breach, or if you have discovered a breach by way of improper access of your medical records, we might be able to help you.
What constitutes as wrongful or improper access to, or use of, medical records?
Wrongful / improper access to medical records can arise from:
- A person’s medical records accessed by someone who has no authority to do so;
- A person who has some authority to access medical records, but does so without any right or reason;
- Medical records being accessed under false pretences;
- Medical records being altered or deleted;
- Medical records being disclosed by accident or through a leak
In any of these scenarios, the patient affected by the breach may be able to bring a claim for data breach compensation. If you have been affected by a breach like this, please don’t hesitate to contact us for some helpful advice about your rights and what you may be entitled to.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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