What are treatment centres and how can they breach personal information? A treatment centre is any facility that provides medical or health treatment of any kind. Personal data breaches can happen through data that is identifiable being lost, altered, or destroyed accessed when no authority is given or stolen in a data security incident. A health care data breach could expose you to the risk of mental hardship and financial loss. And in some cases, this could become the basis of a valid compensation claim. This guide aims to provide the eligibility criteria for making a claim if involved in a treatment centre data breach.
Your claim is going to be based at least partially, on unique circumstances. And because of this, you may have questions that you need answers to, that fall outside of the scope of this guide. We can still provide them, but you will have to speak to one of our claim advisors. You can call us on 0800 408 7825, or use our contact form and request a callback.
Select A Section:
- What Is A Treatment Centre Data Breach?
- What Could Cause A Treatment Centre Data Breach?
- Healthcare Data That Could Be Impacted
- How Should Treatment Centres Respond To A Breach?
- What Could You Claim For A Treatment Centre Data Breach?
- Get Help If Your Medical Privacy Has Been Breached
What Is A Treatment Centre Data Breach?
The governing body responsible for data privacy and security regulations in the UK is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). It is the ICO that you would report a breach of data privacy to. Although the ICO cannot award compensation to data breach victims they may investigate a breach that is reported to them. Any report that they complete could be used as evidence in your case.
In this country, we have 2 key pieces of legislation that are used to govern the use of a data subject’s personal and personally sensitive data these include the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and also the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). The UK GDPR has 7 Core Principles that must be abided by when a data controller is processing any kind of personal data. A data controller is an organisation that processes personal information. This can be any kind of treatment or healthcare centre.
If data protection laws are not adhered to and this leads to your personal data such as health information being breached you could be eligible to claim for the suffering both mentally and financially this has caused you.
Non-Cyber Related Data Security Incidents Reported to The ICO By The Healthcare Sector
The ICO collect and publish data security incidents reported to them each fiscal quarter. The graph below shows the main causes of non-cyber security-related data incidents in healthcare, for the Q3 2021/22 period.
What Could Cause A Treatment Centre Data Breach?
As we can see from the chart above, there are many ways that human error could potentially be the cause of a treatment centre data breach. Now we will look at example scenarios of how a data breach could be caused:
- A digital storage device is disposed of, without following regulatory requirements for doing so safely.
- Your medical information is emailed to the wrong person.
- A verbal disclosure of your medical data results in a breach.
- Some of your medical data is sent in a misdirected fax to the wrong person.
Healthcare Data That Could Be Impacted
Not all of your data is protected by law. Only your personal and special category data. To help you understand this, we have given examples of each type below.
Personal data is uniquely identifying information related to you. Examples of this include key financial data such as your bank account number, or the number of your credit card or debit card. It also includes data such as your phone number, email address, date of birth, address, name, and of course, any other data that can be used to identify you.
How Should Treatment Centres Respond To A Breach?
In some cases (but not all), you should be notified if you have become the victim of a treatment centre data breach.
In the case of a minor breach, where the impact of the data subject is trivial in nature, and is not going to affect their rights, no notification is required. The same holds true for data breaches being reported to the ICO. However, if the data breach is serious enough to warrant a notification to the data subject the ICO must also be informed of the breach within 72 hours.
What Steps Can You Take?
You may wish to contact the party you believe has breached your data. You can ask if your data has been impacted and how badly. Also, you may also want to complain to the ICO about the data breach. This should be done within three months of the last communication with the data controller.
If you call our expert advisors today they will offer you free legal advice. Any data breach claim can be assessed for free and you will be told if you are eligible to make a data breach claim. Any cases that are valid and look to be awarded compensation will be given the option to be connected to a specialist data breach solicitor.
What Could You Claim For A Treatment Centre Data Breach?
In 2015 at the Court of Appeal, the case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc. set a precedent for claiming non-material damages for a data breach, when no financial loss has happened. Non-material damages relate to pain and suffering a personal data breach may have caused you.
We can’t give you an average medical data breach compensation amount. Claims all differ in some way. We can give you this example compensation table below though. It is based on the guidelines used by the court system that is produced by the Judicial College (updated version 2022). Alongside non-material damages, you may also be able to claim material damages for any financial losses. Speak to our advisors to learn what might be appropriate in your own case.
|Psycholgical Injury||Severity Level||Notes||Possible Damages|
|Mental Harm||Severe||A person suffering from a severe mental illness may have difficulty performing their daily duties, going to school, or working. The chances of recovering are slim to none.||£54,830 to £115,730|
|Mental Harm||Moderately Severe||There may be serious challenges facing the sufferer at work, in their relationships, etc.||£19,070 to £54,830|
|Mental Harm||Moderate||The chances are high that the sufferer will make a full recovery, despite their mental health concerns initially.||£5,860 to £19,070|
|Mental Harm||Less Severe||Compensation in this category will be determined by the amount and duration of mental harm the patient experienced.||£1,540 to £5,860|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||Severe||PTSD severely impairs an individual's ability to function normally and makes them unable to perform daily tasks.||£59,860 to £100,670|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||Moderately Severe||Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a significant impact on their lives, but have some chance of recovery.||£23,150 to £59,860|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||Moderate||Since the patient has almost completely recovered, residual symptoms will not cause significant impairments.||£8,180 to £23,150|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||Less Severe||After suffering from PTSD for two years, almost all of your symptoms would be gone.||£3,950 to £8,180|
Get Help If Your Medical Privacy Has Been Breached
You may be able to make data breach claims using a No Win No Fee lawyer. Under a Conditional Fee Agreement CFA, you won’t have to pay anything to the lawyer to have them start work on your claim. If the claim fails, they won’t expect a fee. But if the claim is won, they will be due a modest success fee.
Do you have more questions? Or are you ready to begin a claim for a treatment centre data breach? Then use the info below to get in touch with us and find out how a data protection solicitor could help you.
Phone 0800 408 7825
Contact form and webchat
Data Protection Resources
Here are some useful links to other web pages that you might like to check over.
Here are a few of our other guides you may like to read.
Article by AH