Any personal information about you that is provided to rehabilitation centres or other medical institutions should be kept confidential and secure. If a rehabilitation centre was to breach your data, could you claim?
Once provided to them it becomes their responsibility to safeguard it and make sure it is only used appropriately and not accessed by an unauthorised party. If you suffered harm because a rehabilitation centre failed to secure your personal information, could you be eligible to make a claim for compensation? This is a guide to making a claim against a medical centre, that offers rehabilitation, if they breached your personal data because they failed to adhere to data protection laws.
We will talk about data breaches and explain the options you have if you suffered harm from a breach. We’ll also discuss how compensation in data breach claims is valued and inform you of how you can contact a solicitor to help you make a data breach claim.
Advisers are also available to answer any questions you might have. They offer free legal advice and can help value your claim. They can also inform you of steps you should take if looking to make a data breach claim. You can contact them now by:
- Calling them at 0800 408 7825
- Using the contact us page
- Talking with one through the live chat feature
Select A Section
- A Rehabilitation Centre Breached My Data – Can I Claim?
- What Could Be A Rehabilitation Centre Data Breach?
- Why Do Personal Data Breaches Happen?
- How Can Healthcare Data Breaches Be Prevented?
- What Could I Claim If A Rehabilitation Centre Breached My Data?
- Can I Get Help Claiming If A Rehabilitation Centre Breached My Data?
Once a rehabilitation centre receives or records your personal information, they become data controllers and are now responsible for maintaining the confidentiality and security of your data.
This applies to any personal information or data about you – this can be your name, your address, your medical or personal history; this is all personal data and how it can be used or shared is subject to the rules and regulations set out in the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.
A security incident that leads to your personal information being unlawfully shared, changed, lost or accessed can be considered a data breach.
A rehabilitation centre is likely to collect and store both personally identifying information and health data.
Your personally identifying information is information that can be used to directly identify you. This is information such as your name, address, or phone number. Substance use can carry a stigma, and so the personal information a rehabilitation centre can hold about you can be sensitive.
The type of health data a rehabilitation centre might hold includes information about substance abuse, mental health data or illnesses relevant to the use of different substances.
As we discussed earlier on in the guide, a personal data breach means your personal information has been stolen, lost, alerted, discussed, destroyed or accessed through a security breach. Data breaches are not always caused by malicious characters. Many are due to human error. A data breach victim would have to prove that the medical facility failed to protect their data in order to have a valid claim.
You can reach out to one of our advisers, for information on what you can do If you suffered harm because your personal information or health data was breached by a rehabilitation centre.
There are a number of ways a data breach can happen in an organisation and below we look at potential causes;
- Human error:
Clerical mistakes can happen when processing information. A mistake in recording, or the use of, names, phone numbers or wrong addresses could lead to personal information being sent to the wrong person.
- A Lack Of Confidentiality:
Staff might not always be aware of or follow the strict standards set out for the handling of personal information.
This can lead to information being shared or disclosed in a manner that can be considered unlawful.
- Poor data security practices
Actions like sharing laptops or misplacing devices can leave people’s data exposed.
Whether deliberate or accidental, these actions can be a data breach. A data controller could be liable if you suffer harm as a result.
Our advisers can offer you more information on the steps to take after an exposure of your information in a breach.
Causes Of Data Breaches Illustrated:
A 2021 survey was carried out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to assess the cyber security threats faced by business and charities in the UK. Of the businesses that responded, 654 self-reported the types of data breaches and attacks they had identified.
As a healthcare centre, rehabilitation facilities could make use of the Caldicott principles; a set of guidelines promoted in healthcare centres for the use and sharing of personal data.
Some recommended practices to avoid data breaches include:
Limiting access to confidential information:
The principles propose limiting access to confidential or sensitive information only to those who need to access it. Even then, they should only have access to information they need to see. This can help limit opportunities for a data breach.
Informing staff of their responsibility when handling personal information:
As mentioned, staff might not be aware of the strict regulations in place for the handling of personal information. Actions that can help create better attitudes toward privacy include:
- Training and informing staff of the responsibilities they have under data protection laws
- Stressing the importance of maintaining confidentiality about any and all patient information
Being open with patients about how their information is used:
Open conversations with rehabilitation centre service users about the use and protection of their data can help create better data protection practices. Hearing concerns the users might have and promoting an attitude of accountability and openness can help staff understand the responsibility they have in protecting patient’s data.
Good data security practices when recording, sharing or accessing personal information can help prevent data breaches.
- Not accessing confidential information on shared computers
- Securely storing any devices with access to personal information (so as to avoid data breaches from lost devices)
- Having a cybersecurity policy and following it
Can prevent some common causes of breaches.
If you suffered harm because a rehabilitation centre breached your data because they failed to properly secure your personal information you can reach out to an adviser now for information on the options you have.
Successful personal data breach claims consist of two heads of loss. If you suffered financial losses because of the data breach, you can seek out compensation known as material damages.
If possible, maintain records of how the breach affected you financially. Examples of this include:
- Payslips as proof of lost income, if you were unable to work because of stress
- Receipts of costs you spent towards treatment for your mental injuries
- Bank records of money stolen from you, because of information exposed in the breach.
If you suffered mental harm you can seek out compensation known as non-material damages.
We’ve included a table illustrating potential figures for compensation awards for psychological injuries. The figures come from the 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines; a publication used by solicitors and insurance firms when valuing non-material damages in compensation claims.
|The claimant’s ability to work and function in life have been severely affected
|£59,860 to £100,670
|Moderately Severe PTSD
|The claimant is showing signs of recovery compared to above but still heavily affected
|£23,150 to £59,860
|The claimant will have made a good recovery
|£8,180 to £23,150
|Less Severe PTSD
|The claimant will have made a more or less full recovery within 2 years
|£3,950 to £8,180
|Severe Psychiatric Damage
|Severe damage to the claimant’s ability to cope with life
|£54,830 to £115,730
|Moderately Severe Psychiatric Damage
|Less severe damage than above with better prognosis
|£19,070 to £54,830
|Moderate Psychiatric Damage
|The claimant’s recovery is going well with a good prognosis
|£5,860 to £19,070
|Less Severe Psychiatric Damage
|The claimant’s ability to perform daily activities was affected for a period of time
|£1,540 to £5,860
A data breach solicitor can help arrange an independent medical assessment for you, to produce a medical report to use as evidence.
The ruling in the Court of Appeal case, Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc 2015, means you can seek out the two types of compensation independently. You do not need to have suffered financial harm to make a claim for psychological harm.
It’s possible to hire data protection solicitors to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. This can be a beneficial type of financial agreement as you would not have to pay any upfront fees to your solicitor for their services. They would also not charge you any ongoing fees. Their fees would only come as a success fee if your claim was successful and you were awarded compensation.
No compensation means you would not have to pay a success fee to them. If your claim was successful, the success fee would only come as a legally capped percentage of the awarded compensation.
A solicitor from our panel of data breach solicitors could represent you. Why not reach out to one of our advisers for information?
An adviser can talk to you about how a data protection solicitor can help you in every part of the claim. From corresponding with the other party, to helping you collect evidence; a no win no fee data breach solicitor can help you make your claim.
You can reach out to an adviser now by:
Healthcare And Medical Data Breach Privacy Claims Resources
Below are resources you might find useful, including:
- ICO: Make A Complaint – A guide showing you how to formally make a complaint against a company
- ICO: Taking Your Case To Court – A guide informing you what a claims process would entail
- NHS: Complain To The NHS – if the service was run by, or with help from the NHS, you can also make a complaint to them.
Thank you for reading our guide on making a claim against a rehabilitation centre for a data breach. We offer other guides on topics such as:
Please get in touch with our advisers for any information you might need.