NHS worker receives a £10k settlement after a data breach involving pregnancy.
A COLLEAGUE investigated a private patient database after NHS worker Julia Walker said she was pregnant, ostensibly to see if she was telling the truth.
Lauren Walker, who is unrelated to the Walkers, peeked at private material on the day her coworker announced her pregnancy with twins.
Julia told an employment tribunal that she believes her coworker did it because she was skeptical of her pregnancy news.
Lauren claimed she was merely looking through the databases to find Julia’s address so she could send her flowers.
The flowers, however, never arrived at home or at work, according to the court.
Julia, who had a miscarriage later, has now won a case against South.
The Equality Act 2010 was broken by Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in North Yorkshire.
Lauren accessed the confidential patient information in September 2019 and looked for her colleague’s name before clicking on it, according to the tribunal, which was held remotely in the North East.
There was no medical information on the page she was looking at.
“It turned out that the person who had accessed the database was Lauren,” said Tribunal Judge Adele Marie Aspden. Julia was informed about this.
“That was incredibly upsetting to her. Lauren and Julia had been friends, but Julia believed Lauren had expressed skepticism when Julia informed her that she was expecting a child.”
Lauren claimed she went to the database to congratulate Julia on her pregnancy at first. However, after hearing Julia’s terrible news, she later stated that she wished to send flowers to express her sorrow. She allegedly knew the street address but not the postcode. “She did not drop off any flowers at Julia’s house or send them to work,” Judge Aspden added.
“She claims she decided not to look at the database and did not write down the address, but it is interesting that she did not find another way to give Julia flowers if that was her intention.”
Julia filed a lawsuit against her employer and Lauren for the event, and was awarded £8,800 in damages for emotional distress, plus £1,304.68 in interest.
“This was a confidential patient database,” Judge Aspden said. Every patient has the right to anticipate that those who have access to the database will treat them with respect.”