Clinic Data Protection Breach – Could You Claim Compensation?

If you have been subject to a clinic data protection breach, you may be wondering if you can claim compensation. In this guide, we will establish what constitutes a clinic data protection breach and who could be eligible to claim.

Clinic data protection breach

Clinic data protection breach claims guide

In order to make a valid personal data breach claim, your case must meet the criteria set out by the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). We will discuss these criteria, as well as what kinds of information a clinic could hold.

We will also explore compensation and how solicitors and other legal professionals value personal data breach claims. Furthermore, we will provide guideline compensation amounts from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a text that assists legal professionals in assigning value to claims.

Finally, we will discuss how our panel of solicitors could help you start your claim. Read on to learn more, or get in touch with our team by:

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Clinic Data Protection Breach?
  2. How Could A Clinic Data Protection Breach Happen?
  3. What Does Data Protection Mean In Healthcare?
  4. Clinic Data Protection Breach Case Study
  5. Medical Data Breach Compensation Amount
  6. Why Choose A No Win No Fee Solicitor?

What Is A Clinic Data Protection Breach?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) define a personal data breach as a security incident. When this incident affects the confidentiality, availability, or integrity of your personal data, this is a personal data breach.

Information that can identify you is personal data. For example, your name, home address, and phone number. Clinics may collect, store and process both personal data and special category data, which requires extra protection under legislation. Some examples of special category data include:

  • Health data, such as your medical records
  • Biometric data
  • Data regarding your sexuality
  • Information surrounding your religious or philosophical beliefs

A data controller decides why and how they use your data, whereas a processor acts on their behalf and processes the data. A clinic may be a data controller and a data processor, which means they are bound by data protection legislation.

However, not all data protection breaches result in a personal data breach claim. According to the UK GDPR, in order to form a valid claim:

  • The breach must be a result of the clinic’s failings
  • It must cause you to suffer harm
  • It must involve your personal data

If your case meets these criteria, you may be eligible to make a claim. Contact our team of advisors today to find out if your claim is valid.

How Could A Clinic Data Protection Breach Happen?

A clinic data protection breach can occur through a number of avenues. For example:

  • A receptionist in a clinic may have accidentally e-mailed documents that contain your personal data to the wrong email address in an email data breach. This is an example of human error.
  • There may have been a cyberattack that occurred as a result of the clinic having outdated or inadequate cybersecurity systems, allowing your personal data to be compromised.
  • A clinic employee may share your personal information, such as information from your medical records or about appointments, over the phone with an authorised party without asking the appropriate security questions.

These are all examples of positive wrongful conduct on behalf of the clinic. For more examples of data breach claims or to find out if you can make a claim, contact our team of advisors today.

What Does Data Protection Mean In Healthcare?

As we mentioned earlier, information and data that refers to your health is special category data. This means that important health care documents such as your:

  • Medical records
  • Patient notes and charts
  • Appointment Information
  • Prescriptions
  • Records surrounding your medical conditions

All require extra security and protection under data protection legislation. If a clinic fails to comply with data protection law, resulting in a personal data breach that causes you harm, you may be able to make a claim.

If a clinic experiences a data breach that could compromise your rights or your freedoms, they then have to inform the ICO within 72 hours. Similarly, they must inform you without undue delay.

Generally, you will have six years to start a personal data breach claim. However, this number falls to one if your claim is against a public body.

To learn more about clinical data protection breach claims, contact our team of advisors today.

Clinic Data Protection Breach Case Study

In 2015, the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was fined £180,000 following a data breach. The Trust operates the 56 Dean Street sexual health clinic in London. The breach occurred when a newsletter was sent out without using the blind carbon copy (BCC) feature.

This feature is used to anonymise recipients of batch emails, and in failing to use it, the Trust revealed the email addresses of 781 patients of their HIV clinic. 730 of these addresses contained the full names of the owners.

( Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-36247186 )

Medical Data Breach Compensation Amount

A successful clinic data protection breach claim can result in two kinds of compensation: material damage and non-material damage. Material damage provides compensation for financial losses caused by the breach; for example, damage to your credit score, or fraudulent credit card charges.

Non-material damage addresses the effect the breach has had on your mental health. For example, you may experience psychological injuries such as depression and anxiety following a breach.

Below, you can some examples of guideline compensation amounts taken from the JCG. These amounts address non-material damage. These figures are not guarantees of what you can receive.

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Severity of Injury Compensation Amount Notes
Psychiatric Harm – Severe £54,830 to £115,730 Serious effect on relationships, health, and daily life, with an extremely poor prognosis.
Psychiatric Harm – Moderately Severe £19,070 to £54,830 Similar issues to the case above, but with a slightly better prognosis.
Psychiatric Harm – Moderate £5,860 to £19,070 A good prognosis thanks to an improvement in symptoms by the time the case may go to trial.
Psychiatric Harm – Less Severe £1,540 to £5,860 The level of the award will take into consideration the length of the period of disability and the extent to which daily activities and sleep were affected
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Severe £59,860 to £100,670 Severe, permanent issues in coping with all aspects of life, with no remaining function at the pre-trauma level.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Moderately Severe £23,150 to £59,860 Some recovery is possible through professional help, granting a slightly better prognosis.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Moderate £8,180 to £23,150 A large recovery means long-term symptoms will not have a disabling effect.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Less Severe £3,950 to £8,180 Only minor symptoms will persist, and full recovery is achieved within 1-2 years.

For a free estimate of what you could potentially receive following a breach, contact our advisors today.

Why Choose A No Win No Fee Solicitor?

Our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors can guide you through the personal data breach claims process with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). In general, CFAs allow you to access legal representation without paying any upfront fees or ongoing costs.

If your claim goes on to be successful, then your solicitor will take a percentage of your compensation as their success fee. However, if your claim does not go on to succeed, then this fee will not be paid.

Our team of advisors could connect you with a data breach solicitor from our panel if your claim is eligible. To learn more or to start your claim, get in touch by:

Learn More About Healthcare Data Breaches

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To learn more about making a clinic data protection breach claim, contact our team of advisors.

Article by NA

Publisher AA