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Breach of DPA - what to do?

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Breach of DPA - what to do?

The health clinic both myself and my daughter are under (for different issues) have been absolutely diabolical in offering support/treatment for the both of us to the point that I have got an appointment to discuss this (among other things) with my MP tomorrow evening.

 

Over the last month I have been trying to get one of the managers at the clinic to write a letter confirming my daughter's diagnosis. A letter came yesterday not outlining the above but to offer her an assessment. Fair enough, but stapled to that letter were three other letters addressed to three different GPs at the same surgery my daughter attends relating to three different patients. Each letter contains the full name, date of birth and NHS number of each patient along with recommended treatments.

 

It makes me wonder whether my or my daughter's details have been compromised in this way and wondering what steps I should take including should I mention it to my MP tomorrow?

 

The letters are now in my possession. Should I take them to the Surgery they are addressed to or return them to the clinic they were sent from when I go out tomorrow?

 

Just wanting advice on the best course of action.

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12 REPLIES
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Re: Breach of DPA - what to do?

If it were me I'd take them to the MP - but only photocopies. The originals I would return ASAP - MPs are all a moral bunch when dealing with the public and if yours thinks you're hanging onto the originals it won't go down well. That and you could be delaying those GPs of other patients from knowing things they need to know.

If you take photocopies to your MP then .. well no real harm done is there - you've done the right thing but also highlighted very serious issues that need addressing.

Thats my view on it all anyway..

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Pete11
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Re: Breach of DPA - what to do?

My view is that of 7up's. He hit the nail on the head when saying it could delay knowledge to others therefore delay actual treatment. And photocopies is the way to go if taking to M.P. because he'll know you have the originals and should get things done very quickly.

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Re: Breach of DPA - what to do?

I have only been in possession of the letters today and not had a chance to get out plus my appointment tomorrow is half way between that surgery and the clinic making it easy to drop them at one or the other.

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Re: Breach of DPA - what to do?

I would make 2 copies and return the originals as soon as it is convenient for you to do so.

One copy would certainly be passed on to your MP the other copy should be handed over to the Quality Care Commission or whatever body in your area is responsible for monitoring standards of health care also mention you have or will speak to your MP about this along with your other concerns and formally request a written reply.

The next thing I would do as a matter of urgency is to transfer to another health practice, sure it will be inconvenient but from some of your previous posts on this subject you have concerns about the standard of care or service you are getting or not getting as the case may be.

Clearly there is a management issue in the way this health centre or GP practice is run and I suspect it may take some time to sort out, even worse if you have made a number of complaints before it is possible they see you as a nuisance and simply ignore your complaints

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Re: Breach of DPA - what to do?

If you can't get a paper scan of the documents in time you can always take photos of them it may not be tangible evidence but that's easily sorted when you print them.

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Re: Breach of DPA - what to do?

Thanks all for the comments and advice.

 

@gleneagles

Ironically I am in the process of changing to a different health clinic. I have already changed GP to a different practice within the area the new health clinic is in and that GP is excellent (so was my previous GP by the way). But the old clinic is dragging it's heels in getting the transfer done.

 

I have been in touch with several managers at the old clinic over the last couple of years each of which seem to move on very quickly without ever getting anything done. It's not just myself and my daughter they have left down I know of at least one other person who has been given the run-around, too. To say the place is badly mismanaged is an understatement!

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Jonpe
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Re: Breach of DPA - what to do?

Give the originals to the clinic/practice they are addressed to so that you don't delay any medical intervention the letters might be intended to instigate.  Only show your MP the addresses on the photocopies at this stage.  Whether the documents are marked "Confidential" or not it must be assumed that they are, and you don't want to make the matter worse by divulging confidential health information to yet more people, even MPs.

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Re: Breach of DPA - what to do?

Although I understand about not delaying to the recipient especially as each letter is marked 'Dictated but left unsigned to avoid delay' my thought is still to give them to one of the managers at the originating clinic. After all, what if the final destination had been miles out of my way. Without doing this they could just deny it happened.

 

As for discussing with my MP I have redacted the personal details except including the patient's name on each.

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DaveyH
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Re: Breach of DPA - what to do?

Wouldn't photocopying/scanning/photographing these documents to share with your MP potentially also leave you in hot water WRT to DPA?
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Re: Breach of DPA - what to do?

Can't see how as I would have had to view them to ascertain what to do with them plus having redacted the personal details there is nothing there to cause issue.

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jordanc1230
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Re: Breach of DPA - what to do?

You make a good point however I don't believe it would as from what I can remember ultimately the legal responsibility is with the Data controller in terms of any DPA breach so the health clinc are held responsible regardless as they are the Data controller.

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Re: Breach of DPA - what to do?

Return the mis-directed letters to the Practice Manager with a formal letter to the effect that you expect the practice to report themselves for privacy breach to the Information Commissioner's office. Hint strongly that if they don't you'll be performing your public duty in the near future. You can even offer some guidance.

 

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