The College Practice Maidstone – Unlawful Accessing of Medical Records Contrary to the Data Protection Act

We are receiving instructions from a number of clients who are patients of the College Practice in Maidstone, a GP Surgery.

Our clients are younger women, in their 20s and 30s who were notified, as of December last year, that their confidential medical records had been unlawfully accessed by a Finance Manager at the practice.

The Manager concerned, Steven Tennison, appeared at Maidstone Magistrates Court, in December, and pleaded guilty to offences under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1988.

It has emerged that Mr Tennison unlawfully accessed medical records at the Practice over 2000 times during a period spanning August 2009 through to October 2010.

It seems that he targeted younger women.

One of his victims was a lady who had gone to the same school as him.  He also accessed her young son’s records.

We as a firm are becoming inundated with patients who wish to bring claims against the Practice and have already sent off a Letter of Claim, earlier this week, on behalf of our first client ‘Claire’ (who wishes to remain anonymous).

Details of Claire’s case will be broadcast on BBC Radio Kent next Monday, when Nick Fairweather is scheduled to speak, live, about the cases.

In short, each woman affected is likely to have a number of different claims, against the Practice, as follows:-

  • Breaches of the Data Protection Principles under the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • Breach of confidence.
  • Breach of the Equality Act 2010 and/or Directive 2004/113 for direct discrimination or harassment in the provision of goods, services and the performance of a public function.
  • Negligence.

It will be argued, on behalf of our clients, that the practice itself failed to put into place adequate procedures in appointing Mr Tennison and to set up vigorous computer and other systems so as to prevent unlawful access to patients’ confidential medical records (which should only have been properly accessed for legitimate reasons – primarily by medical practitioners).

We will also allege a failure to keep this confidential information secure, generally, and a failure to prevent Mr Tennison accessing same.

We shall look to hold the practice responsible for Mr Tennison’s actions on the principles of vicarious liability.

Damages should be available for the obvious distress that the women concerned will have suffered.

If you have been affected then please contact us, in confidence, on the following numbers:-

0800 999 5585

Or 01227 784337

Or via this website