Clinic Breach Of Data Protection – Could I Make A Compensation Claim?

Clinic Breach Of Data Protection - Could I Make A Compensation Claim sent personal information to the wrong address

Clinic Breach Of Data Protection And Compensation Claims Guide

Following a clinic breach of data protection, you may question if you could make a health data breach compensation claim. In this guide, we’ll discuss who could be eligible to make a personal data breach claim, what data is protected under law and how you might benefit from using medical data breach solicitors.

We’ll also look at an example of a healthcare data breach. This will demonstrate how data breaches can occur. 

Ultimately, if you have been the victim of a medical data breach that was the fault of a clinic and you subsequently suffered psychological injuries or financial loss, you’ll finish this article with more insight on how to claim.

However, if you already feel confident enough to begin the legal process, we could help you. Our data breach solicitors could agree to take on your case if it has a good foundation. All cases they take on are under No Win No Fee terms. 

You can get in touch via our 24/7 claims line on 0800 073 8801. Otherwise, you may:

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Can I Claim For A Clinic Breach Of Data Protection?

If a clinic breaches data protection, this can mean that they have not complied with legislation in place to protect your personal data. The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.are both pieces of legislation that set the regulations for the processing of personal data. 

If a clinic breahes these laws, it does not automatically mean your data has been breached. However, in order to make a personal data breach claim, the onus will be on you to prove that an organisation that had a responsibility to keep this data secure failed to apply the appropriate measures. As a consequence, this meant your personal data had been breached. And compensation can only be awarded when it is determined you suffered financially and/or mentally.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent authority that investigates breaches of UK GDPR and may issue monetary penalties to any organisations that do not comply with data protection law. 

Clinics handle many types of personal data, including information of a more sensitive nature, which the ICO refers to as special category data. For example:

  • Data concerning your health
  • Genetic data
  • Biometric data
  • Your racial or ethnic origin
  • Sexual orientation 
  • Details regarding your sex life

However, when a clinic uses your data, they act as a data controller. A controller decides how and why your data is collected, whereas a data processor is responsible for processing your data on their behalf.

If you can prove wrongful conduct on the part of the clinic, and that this conduct led to a data breach that affected your personal data and caused you to suffer financial loss or mental health injuries, you might have grounds for a valid claim.

Our advisors offer a free consultation of your case with no obligation to make a claim with us afterwards. Call our claims team now. 

Healthcare Data Breach Statistics 

The ICO analyses the current data security incident trends. In the latest quarter of 2021/22, the health sector reported 427 data security incidents. 

Excluding other non-cyber incidents, the most common incident types reported were:

  • 71 incidents of data posted or faxed to the wrong address
  • 45 incidents of loss/theft of paperwork
  • 57 incidents of data emailed to the incorrect recipient
  • 74 incidents of unauthorised access

If you would like to discuss a breach of data protection in healthcare, you can do so in confidence with our advisors. They are available at any time to answer your questions.

Clinic Breach Of Data Protection – Examples 

In this section, we want to focus on how not adhering to data protection laws can lead to personal data being breached. Whilst criminal activity may lead to a medical data breach, for example through ransomware threats or phishing scams, human errors may also cause a breach;

  • Misdelivery of data: A clinic employee, despite having your correct email address on file, may send an email containing your health data to the wrong recipient. Therefore an unauthorised person may potentially access your information.
  • Loss or theft of paperwork: If clinics do not keep your medical records stored in a safe and secure place, someone who is unauthorised might easily access your information.
  • Failure to use BCC where appropriate: BCC is a method of sending copies of an email to other recipients. However, if clinic staff fail to use BCC when emailing you regarding health data, other recipients could see your name and email address.

Has your personal data been breached because of a breach of data protection law? We could help you start a claim if you have a legitimate case. Our advisors can offer more insight.

Healthcare Data Breach Case Study

A healthcare data breach case study we want to focus on occurred in 2015, when 56 Dean Street, a sexual health clinic, sent out a mass email to 781 people who had attended an HIV clinic and opted for an online service could see the email addresses of each other. 

Since the BCC field was not used when the mass email was sent out others could see each other’s email addresses. Although the clinic said that not all recipients were HIV positive it may be that assumptions are made. Patients may be recognised from their email as 730 emails contained the full name of patients. 

The ICO investigated the security incident and said it was a “serious breach of the law”. Subsequently the NHS trust for 56 Dean Street was fined £180,000


Our advisors can offer guidance on what steps to take in a potential NHS data breach.

How Much Is A Data Breach Claim Worth?

There are two heads of compensations that you might claim for:

Following the case of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc (2015), the Court of Appeal ruled you can claim for non-material damage without claiming financial loss.

You can use the Judicial College Guidelines to estimate your potential medical data breach payout for non-material damage. Legal professionals are known to use the JCG to value injuries.

Injury Compensation Range Notes
Severe Psychiatric Damage Generally £54,830 to £115,730 All areas of life including work, family and social life are all severely impacted. Symptoms could be permanent.
Moderately Severe Psychiatric Damage Generally £19,070 to £54,830 The prognosis is more optimistic however there will be a severe disability into the future.
Moderate Psychiatric Damage Generally £5,860 to £19,070 There will have been a good recovery made. Symptoms that will persist will not be major.
Less Severe Psychiatric Damage Generally £1,540 to £5,860 Everyday life impacts and sleeping patterns will be taken into consideration.
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £59,860 to £100,670 You may be left unable to work due to the severity of the symptoms you suffer from PTSD.
Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £23,150 to £59,860 Symptoms will continue for the foreseeable future causing significant disability.
Moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £8,180 to £23,150 Any ongoing effects are not too grossly disabling.
Less Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder £3,950 to £8,180 A full recovery is anticipated within one or two years.

Please remember that the figures featured above are just guidelines. Furthermore, the compensation ranges featured do not take into account any material damage you might suffer following a clinic breach of data protection. 

For a more accurate estimation of what you could claim, speak to our advisors. They could connect you to a specialist solicitor.

What Are The Benefits Of No Win No Fee Claims?

A Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) is also known as a No Win No Fee arrangement. You might benefit from using a CFA solicitor. 

If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will deduct a legally capped fee from your compensation as their success fee. In addition, you won’t pay any upfront solicitor fees. No success fee to pay for unsuccessful claims. 

Our advisors can verify your eligibility to work with a No Win No Fee solicitor. All you need to do is contact us via the following ways:

  • Call at any time on 0800 073 8801
  • Request a call back by completing the form at the top of this page
  • Connect to our team instantly by using our live chat function

Find Out More About Medical Data Breaches 

You might find the following resources useful in relation to a clinic breach of data protection:

Here you’ll find some related medical data breach guides:

We hope you have found our guide on clinic breach of data protection claims helpful. If you feel ready to pursue compensation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.