Are you a victim of an NHS Data Breach? Here’s what you need to do

Most Britons hold the NHS in high esteem, especially after two years of pandemic which have taught them a lot about the stress the doctors and nurses are under. People share their most sensitive information with the NHS and they fully expect all their data will be kept confidential. However, over the past few years, there have been numerous cases of NHS data breaches causing financial losses and extreme mental anguish to thousands of patients. Should you forgive and forget? No, you have to stand up for your rights.

If the NHS wants to enjoy your trust, they’d better earn it or pay for their mistakes.

When can you sue the NHS?

All companies storing personal info of their clients must have strong security systems in place to protect that data. Even if it refers only to your name and the delivery address for the flowers you just ordered. The NHS has way more sensitive information about you. In their records there’s everything about your health issues, things we’ve been told will be kept secret.

There are two types of medical records data breaches depending on what they are caused by.

Cyber theft

Cybercriminals are ever more devious and all companies storing data online must act accordingly. When you work online you have to assume someone might be trying to access your databases. Organizations such as the NHS are required to use the most sophisticated online security systems and make sure the patients’ data will not be accessed by unauthorized third parties. If they’re negligent, you can and should hold them accountable.

Human error

The security systems a company uses may be the best in the world, but they will be useless in case of a much-too-common human error. If an employee misplaces a hard drive or loses the passwords to a secure database, all the files in it may be compromised. In such a situation, you can still sue the organization as they’re ultimately responsible for the actions of their employees.

The same principles apply if you were a victim of a data breach that affected your GP, pharmacist, dentist, etc.

What types of compensation can you claim in an NHS data breach?

There are two types of damages you can claim if you were affected by an NHS or other medical record data breach.

Financial compensation

The biggest worry in such a case is identity theft. The cybercriminals gaining access to your personal info could use them to steal the money in your bank account or set up a fraudulent account in your name. You could be dragged into a legal and financial nightmare if that happens. You need to talk to a skilled data breach lawyer to see how you should proceed with your claim.

Emotional distress and mental anguish

Imagine your complete medical record is out there for anyone to use as they please. There are many things you may not want to disclose. The simple knowledge that someone could learn everything in your medical history can cause emotional distress and mental anguish. It’s not only a violation of privacy. Such a thing can impact your relationship, your family life, and your reputation, or you may very well lose your job if certain things become public knowledge. You are entitled to seek compensation even if you did not suffer any tangible financial losses.

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