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Unlawful access to medical information

(22 Posts)
fedupnorthernmum Tue 09-Jun-15 22:11:48

A person I know works for the NHS and has on at least one occasion looked at information regarding a person to see if they had been admitted to hospital as a 'favour' for someone who did not believe they had. I also suspect that she looked at my notes after I had a blow to the head caused by a member of my family and which I thought had caused a 'bleed' in my eye (diabetic with retinopathy so blood vessels fragile). Although this happend last year I can't get it out of my head WIBU to report her?

WhetherOrNot Tue 09-Jun-15 22:13:28

WIBU to report her?

Without proof? Yes, YWBU.

londonrach Tue 09-Jun-15 22:16:07

I work for the nhs and there is no way i can access any information apart from my patients and even then its just restricted to my profession. Access is strictly controlled. You sure shes being truthful re accessing the notes.

jokinnear Tue 09-Jun-15 22:16:26

They probably can get proof, they can most likely tell whether she has accessed the records or not. I used to work for the nhs and was told over and over again we'd be sacked for this

londonrach Tue 09-Jun-15 22:18:21

Fed up...i can sometimes see if someone is in hospital but thats only if someone has chosen to share with all professions that x patient is in hosputal so appt is cancelled. I can never see why they been admitted as even the ward isnt shown on the notes...

thenightsky Tue 09-Jun-15 22:18:57

Gross misconduct and a sacking offence.

The proof will be easy to find. Everyone leaves and electronic footprint when they open case notes on the computer system.

bgottalent Tue 09-Jun-15 22:20:19

I think this is more common than you would think. A friend of mine in the NHS said there was no harm in it as long as long as the person concerned didn't know. shock He said it was the same as someone working in a bank looking up details of a friends bank account. I said to him "oh so that makes it all right does it" hmm

TheBobbinIsWound Tue 09-Jun-15 22:21:23

5 years ago I stuck a pic of my newly set "broken" leg on Facebook because saying it was "broken" was much simpler than explaining my actual diagnosis... And the treatment was the same. Plaster cast. Physio.

A "friend" from school actually bloody posted on Facebook that "I've looked and it's actually not broken"

I was horrified. Absolutely horrified that he looked at my private medical information.

jokinnear Tue 09-Jun-15 22:23:08


when I worked in informatics, this was utterly and totally not the prevalent attitude, at all. I never knew anyone who did it. of course the nhs is huge organisation so my experience my be in no way typical. but that attitude definitely isn't ubiquitous

Musicaltheatremum Tue 09-Jun-15 22:25:04

Sackable offence and easy to trace. You can speak to someone at the hospital PALS maybe and say you think someone may have accessed your records and they can check. Some colleagues I work with have access to all patients in the health board where I work. When I go into one of my patients hospital results records I can see who last accessed it.

bgottalent Tue 09-Jun-15 22:33:15

Yes musical but if you don't know if someone has looked at your records you woudn't ask PALS to look. Which is what this person said. It's just horrid thinking that a friend of yours may have looked up your records and know your private medical history but you don't know he knows. I feel particularly sensitive about this as I have had some issues in the past which I don't want people to know about.

therealsquireofwideacre Tue 09-Jun-15 22:35:20

When my dd broke a bone on scout camp, her scout leader looked at dd's xrays because she was employed by the NHS.

emsyj Tue 09-Jun-15 22:40:02

I am a civil servant (nothing to do with NHS) and our antiquated systems certainly can trace which records I have accessed via a computer - I would report and let them investigate. This is serious. I would be (quite rightly) sacked if I accessed records without a valid business reason for doing so.

littleducks Tue 09-Jun-15 22:41:14

I think it is fine to report without proof, you should approach the hospital who should be able to discreetly check, if she hasn't looked nothing will come of it, if she has then disciplinary procedures should be started.

x2boys Tue 09-Jun-15 23:19:14

Its a sackable offence to look at notes you are not permitted to look OK at I worked in mental health for years and only had access to mental health notes obviously but even than it was drummed into us we we're only permitted to!look at notes in our area for example when I worked in dementia care I could only access notes for patients with dementia not patients with acute mental health needs

iluvsummer Tue 09-Jun-15 23:19:38

You can have your files audited by the file governance manager of the trust. I have had mine audited by Hywel Dda because my psycho mil accessed them and had a good old snoop, she should have been sacked but Hywel Dda being the shit bags they are didn't get rid of her!

x2boys Tue 09-Jun-15 23:20:13

Not sure why there is a random OK sorry

stargazer2030 Tue 09-Jun-15 23:28:47

I am really interested in the replies as I think a former friend (Doctors receptionist) has done the same to me and not sure what to do. If she hasn't it could cause a whole load of trouble if she finds out I made the allegation.
If the op is wrong and there is no trace would the person find out?

bgottalent Tue 09-Jun-15 23:31:22

x2boys your post does nothing to reassure me. i have a friend who also works as an admin in mental health and has seen the notes of a relative of mine who attends a clinic there and has told me what they say. I did not ask for the information and told her I didn't want to know as it was confidential information that I wasn't entitled to know about.

RedRugNoniMouldiesEtc Wed 10-Jun-15 00:15:10

Londonrach each trust has their own system. yours may work like that but not all do.

Op, there is no reason not to report your concerns. They may not be able to trace activity on your file after a year, I don't know, but they will be able to keep an eye on her activity and be alert for anything else. It's important that people behaving like this are weeded out. they bring the trust we place in the system into question and there is more than enough of that already.

I work in the nhs. I could look at peoples files - I never would and have gone so far as to get a colleague to deal with letters to a neighbour as I felt it inappropriate for me to even though there would be no technical wrong doing. However I do know people in an nhs setting (before I joined) who found it highly amusing to look at people's files for a laugh hmm. Although, to my knowledge, they didn't do anything illegal with the information it was highly inappropriate and they would have been sacked for it. They've all left before i joined thank goodness. Ironically one of them is the neighbour whose privacy was so important to me.

Aermingers Wed 10-Jun-15 00:40:16

The only people who could accesa this sort of stuff these days are porters who move paper notes. They only really get what they are given and couldn't specify an patient's notes they wanted. The requested ones would be given to clinic. And even if the did see someone the knew they can't just stand about reading them, they'd get I. A lot of trouble if caught.

Hospitals can say if someone had been admitted to certain people, eg if they are missing or claim to be next of kin.

MeltchettsLovelyMoustache Wed 10-Jun-15 01:18:59

Electronic records would be very easily traceable- they record every time someone logs in, and logins are generally your name. I'm guessing that's what you mean, and they would be found out and sacked if you reported it.

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