Nursing auxiliary fined for unlawfully accessing patient records

November 16 11:04 2017 Print This Article

A nursing auxiliary has been fined for accessing a patient’s medical records without a valid legal reason.

Marian Waddell, 61, was working at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport when she unlawfully accessed the records of the patient, who was known to her, on six occasions between July 2015 and February 2016. She did so without a valid business reason and without the knowledge of the data controller, the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

Waddell, of Walsall Street, Newport, admitted unlawfully accessing personal data in breach of s55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 when she appeared at Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court. She was fined £232 and was ordered to pay £150 costs as well as a £30 victim surcharge.

Of the eight criminal prosecutions the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has brought in 2017 against NHS employees for breaching patient privacy, three have been in Wales.

David Teague, the ICO’s Regional Manager for Wales, said:

“It is disappointing that we continue to see people getting into serious trouble over behaviour which is so easily avoidable. Staff training, and the publicity around previous cases of this nature, means that they really should know better.

“This is not an issue that is confined to Wales or the NHS – anyone whose work allows them to access sensitive personal data needs to realise that this information is out of bounds unless you have a valid and legal reason for looking at it.”

A related blog has been published today.


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