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to feel a bit uneasy about this...

(17 Posts)
picturerail Sun 29-May-11 23:37:59

DH and I were taking to his mum & sister about his gran's upcoming birthday & I said that I thought it was her 90th & if so we should do something to celebrate it. MIL wasn't sure as it's her MIL so said she'd ask FIL to check with his brother but SIL turned round & said "Don't worry, I'll check in work on Monday." She works for the NHS in the neo-natal department of our local hospital. I asked her what she meant & she said that she'd check the database for her DOB. I made a joke that she probably shouldn't be doing that & MIL joked along saying don't worry she only has access to DOB's, addresses, prescriptions, recent A&E attendances & blood tests etc, etc.

Now this has really bothered me as the more i think of it I think she's seen my medical records, DS1's & also those of a good friend of mines. DH says I'm being paranoid but from things she's said in the past i think she's had a definitely had a nose. For example she & MIL knew the date of my c-section for DS2 before I told them & when DS1 was in hospital for a head injury & we considered complaining after a urgent MRI scan was botched she said that she'd made a note of all the staff that had worked on him.

I always had an inkling that if she could look she would as she's unbelievably nosey & her & MIL love to gossip but now I know she can & does i feel really uneasy! I feel especially bad as DH's best friend & his wife are having IVF & i think she has hinted that she knows about it & was testing us to see if we knew. It's a secret to everyone except their families & other close friends of theirs who we don't really know. Around the time of their first cycle both she & MIL were asking very specific questions about them i.e. are they trying, is there something wrong, did we know why they haven't had kids yet, that suggests they know. DH thinks this is just a coincidence but if they do know I feel really bad for my friend as she would feel awful if she thought they knew & were gossiping about her.

Now i know DH is right, it's not a huge deal & I'm being paranoid as after all i don't have anything to hide but AIBU to feel uneasy about this?

EricNorthmansMistress Sun 29-May-11 23:42:32

If she's had a nosy you can't prevent it, but she should not be gossiping. If you suspect she is discussing patient records with her mother that is a massive issue.

sprinkles77 Sun 29-May-11 23:53:50

YANBU. That's a fucking disgrace and a massive breach of patient confidentiality. Not sure what you should do about it. It's almost certainly a breach of her contract of employment, and if she is a registered medical professional (dr, nurse, midwife) could open her to an accusation of professional misconduct. Now that can mean the end of her career. Hmmmm. Do with that what you will......

AnnoniMouse Sun 29-May-11 23:54:27

The computers used do not allow access to records of anybody with them same surname as the person trying to check.

When it was thought I had raised bile acids with ds1 my mum got one of her friends to check my blood so that I had peace of mind before my appointment the next day.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 29-May-11 23:55:07

I worked for Social Services and we were told in no uncertain terms that that would lead to dismissal. And, they monitored what people logged in to. She'd better be kidding or she's in trouble.

ilovesooty Sun 29-May-11 23:57:09

YANBU, and I think it is a big deal. I agree with sprinkles77

I have access to the police database at work and it would be a breach of my contract to look people up for personal reasons.

MonkeyTastic Sun 29-May-11 23:59:58

Hmmm, sounds like she might be accessing patient records she doesn't have a work need to see (therefore breaking data protection rules) for her own entertainment. Under no circumstances should anyone with access to personal information use it for any other reason other than work related. It's against the law, no matter how bloody nosey you are. Period.

Isn't it odd what people try to get away with when they think no one is looking? If you think she is doing this an anonymous letter to her work might be a good idea.

WhereYouLeftIt Mon 30-May-11 00:04:28

"Now i know DH is right, it's not a huge deal "

But it is a huge deal. Accessing records you don't need for your job would be a disciplinary matter. Discussing the contents would be a sackable offence.

DontGoCurly Mon 30-May-11 00:04:45

That's not good at all. If she is accessing peoples medical records for her own personal entertainment then it is very serious. I would actually anonymously tip of her employer. A company I worked for sacked someone for accessing famous peoples accounts for their own nosey entertainment. The IT department can track what users have been accessing info and when.....

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops Mon 30-May-11 00:07:55

I'd grass her up too, tbh. Very unfair, wrong and could be disastrous.

APieOfButter Mon 30-May-11 00:10:10

My mum has done this - she has rung me up to remind me when my appointments were, and has even told me when the doctors and so on were having meetings about me (MH issues, they professionals had chosen not to tell me for legitimate reasons). Very, very bad, but I can hardly report my own mother.

A friend of a friend had a temp job at SS, and told me what is on my file, and that of a friend, when we were all drinking one day. I was really anoyed, and wish I had reported it, but didn't and I don't think she is still working there now.

APieOfButter Mon 30-May-11 00:11:30

I used to work in a library, and never even looked up what books friends were borrowing. It's just not the done thing. Although several of the library assistants used to put notes on each others files basically as a messaging system. They got absolutely bollocked for it though.

magicmelons Mon 30-May-11 00:18:19

I work for the nhs and reception staff don't have access in out trust, I'd be very doubtful if she can see anythingore than name, address and dob and appointment times. I can't access my own medical records and i need a special password to see lab results. Hope this makes you feel better.

millymae Mon 30-May-11 00:22:26

I don't think you're being unreasonable at all.

If I were your SIL I'd be very careful - the NHS Trust I work for keeps a close eye on who accesses confidential computerised information and has even gone so far as to issue warnings to staff who have accessed their own records, never mind their relatives.

Bearing in mind that your SIL works in a neonatal unit she'd be hardpressed to give a valid reason as to why she was accessing the records of a (possibly) 90 year old if she was caught, and could end up with a written warning on her records or even losing her job.

picturerail Mon 30-May-11 00:36:13

It does a bit magicmelons. From my own employment i know that databases can be limited & password protected so perhaps she was exaggerating a bit. I think though because of the department she works in she might have access to pre-natal & children's ward info.

Because of my line of work i had considered the professional conduct side of it. I just don't know what to do about it! I think it would be obvious that i had something to do with it if she suddenly got pulled up on it.

magicmelons Mon 30-May-11 00:45:17

But even if she has access to childrens and maternity care she still won't have access to hospital notes, they have to be requested and logged out so she wouldn't be able to do it ifyswim. For example I hVr never seen my dhs notes and I only saw my own maternity notes the other day when the me had them despite working in the hospital for 10 years and I work on the medical side so could quite easily request notes but what adage and then they take a week to come and I know I could be sacked, I'd have to want to see them pretty badly. Perhaps she knows about your friends ing as she bumped into them at the hospital and I'd just fishing to see if youn know so as she can talk to you about it.

gasman Mon 30-May-11 01:23:44

If she is looking up records like this she is risking her job.

It is a disciplinary offence and they monitor it closely. You are quite correctly only allowed to look up records for patients you are personally looking after.

I don't know what she does but I have access to all the clinical information that is stored electronically about patients because I need it to do my job. I don't know if non medical staff have a more restricted form of access than I do. I would be horrified if I found any of my colleagues were abusing the system although obviously I know anecdotally that it happens because the trust make such a fuss about it.

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