Former Nurse Prosecuted for Unauthorised Access to Medical Records

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A former nurse, who was employed by Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust accessed 109 records belonging to 18 patients, including a child, between 2014 and 2016. The individual was fired in 2017 for gross misconduct.

The former nurse, Claire Lawson, a Staff Nurse in the Rehabilitation Centre of the hospital, made multiple attempts to access records of individuals outside of her nursing remit. The individual was charged with a breach of the 1998 Data Protection Act and was fined over £400.

On the verdict, the ICO stated: “This abuse of a position of trust has caused significant distress to a number of people. The laws on data protection are there for a reason and people have the right to know their highly sensitive personal information will be treated with appropriate privacy and respect.

The ICO will continue to take action against those who abuse their position and potentially jeopardise the important relationship of trust and confidentiality between patients and the NHS.”

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