This guide is focused on steps you could take after a Nuffield Health data breach. However, most of the facts will transfer over to any healthcare data breach claim.
Reading this guide will teach you about what data breaches are and how they happen as well as the negative impact a data breach could have on your life.
We also discuss how a data breach solicitor could potentially help you claim under a No Win No Fee agreement.
I Suffered A Psychological Injury After A Personal Data Breach, What Are My Rights?
All claims are based on a fundamentally unique situation to the individual, even though they may share similarities with other data breach claims in general. Because of this, you might find that you have questions that aren’t answered in this guide. Therefore, we have advisors available 24/7.
You can call them on 0800 073 8801 or use our online live chat to get instant answers. Our advisors could connect you with our solicitors if you have a strong claim, but you’ll be under no obligation to proceed with our services.
Select A Section:
- A Guide To Personal Data Breach Claims Against Nuffield Health
- Medical Records A Healthcare Company Could Hold About You
- What Is A Personal Data Breach Claim Against Nuffield Health?
- What Should Nuffield Health Do After A Data Breach?
- Action Taken By The ICO Against Private Healthcare Organisations
- When Could You Claim For A Breach Of The GDPR?
- Gathering Evidence Of Your Data Breach
- Calculating Data Breach Claims Against Nuffield Health
- Material And Non-Material Damages That Could Be Awarded
- No Win No Fee Claims Against Nuffield Health For A Medical Data Breach
- Talk To Our Specialist Team
- Frequently Asked Questions About Breaches Of The GDPR
- Related Guides
A Guide To Personal Data Breach Claims Against Nuffield Health
In this guide, we focus on what makes data breach claims valid. We look at claims related to healthcare data protection and the exposure of personal information such as your medical data. We start the guide off with a look at some of the types of personal data that a healthcare provider might store about you.
Next, we give some background on what a data beach claim is. We look at how personal data breaches involving physical personal data and digital personal data happen. And you will also learn about the impact that a medical data breach could have on your life.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is introduced, and we look at the types of punitive action that the ICO could take against a healthcare provider following a personal data breach.
The last few sections of this guide focus more on the claims process itself. We will summarise the reasons why you could have a valid claim, and the types of evidence you may be able to gather to support such a claim.
We have added a compensation table that gives examples of compensation ranges for varying psychological injuries. It’s supported by a discussion of claiming damages for psychological harm and financial loss due to a data breach.
No Win No Fee claims are covered, including how they work and what the major benefits of using the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor are.
Valid Data Breach Claims
It’s important to note that a claim can be valid if you’ve suffered financial loss and/or psychological harm because of a data breach. However, the party you claim against must also have exercised positive wrongful conduct to cause the breach.
For example, if they didn’t train staff in data security properly, this could lead to a human error data breach. The party (not the staff member) could be deemed liable.
Claim Time Limits
If you have a valid data breach claim, you should make it within the appropriate time limit. For example:
- In general, you have six years.
- However, in some instances, you may have just one year.
If you are not sure which of these time limits would apply in your own case, we can help you. Just reach out to our advisors and explain your circumstances. They will tell you which time limit could apply.
Get More Help
This guide on what you could do following a Nuffield Health data breach aims to help you. However, if you have any questions, our advisors are available to help 24/7. They can also connect you with our solicitors if you have evidence of a valid claim.
Medical Records A Healthcare Company Could Hold About You
We all regularly share personal data with a whole range of companies and organisations. But for a moment, consider the unique information that a healthcare provider might hold about you.
Personal data or personal information is any information that could be used to help identify you. For example, it includes:
- Your telephone number, date of birth, email address and home address.
- Financial information such as bank account and payment card details.
- The username and password you use to log in to the online platform the provider offers.
- Driving licence or passport data.
Special category data is a kind of personal information that needs more protection because it’s sensitive. It includes:
- Data about your health;
- Data about your sex life; and
- Data about your sexual orientation.
The above three examples could be held by your healthcare provider. The healthcare provider would, therefore, have a responsibility to protect it.
What Is A Personal Data Breach Claim Against Nuffield Health?
Organisations, including healthcare providers, should comply with applicable data protection legislation if they store, collect or process personal data. In general, this includes complying with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the UK GDPR.
This legislation is in place and enforced to protect your personal data. Compliance is not optional. What’s more, a breach of compliance can have very serious repercussions for the healthcare provider. For example, it could receive hefty fines.
How Do Data Breaches Happen?
A personal data breach is the unlawful accessing, disclosure, destruction, alteration, or loss of data that can be used to identify you. It can be accidental or deliberate.
Data breaches can affect physical personal data such as files and documents. It can also affect digitally stored data.
Many data breaches are caused by innocent mistakes. For example, errors may be made by staff due to inadequate training and a lack of understanding of their responsibility to protect your personal data.
Other data breaches are the result of some type of deliberate action. This could be a cyberattack on a company’s online systems, for example. If the healthcare provider failed to provide proper online security measures, they could be liable for claims from victims of the data breach.
Breaches Of Hard Copy Data
Data protection in healthcare can affect your physical medical records just as easily as your digital data. There are many ways physical, hard copy personal data can be compromised, as shown below.
- Your medical records containing personal information are left on a desk where unauthorised persons can read them.
- A nurse drops a test result slip (identifying you) on the floor, and it is found by a member of the public.
- After a break-in at a hospital, your medical records are found to be missing.
- A doctor shares your personal information with a person who does not have a lawful reason to have it.
Breaches Of Digital Data
Of course, many people think about digital personal data when talking about data breaches. To prevent such data breaches from happening, a healthcare provider could operate stringent data protection protocols, and install special cyber security software.
Examples of personal data breaches involving digital data include:
- A storage device, such as a portable hard drive or USB stick, is not properly wiped before it is thrown away. It contains personal information and is accessed by someone without a lawful basis to view it.
- A device such as a laptop that had your personal data on it is lost or stolen.
- Cybercriminals gain access to your personal data through a cyberattack.
- A member of staff falls for a phishing attack and divulges their login information to a cybercriminal. The cybercriminal then uses this stolen data to access more personal information on the company’s systems.
How Can A Data Breach Effect You?
Data breaches can affect people in different ways. It can depend on what personal data is compromised and how it is used.
For example, depending on what personal information is accessed, you could experience:
- Stealing from your bank account
- Use of your payment card details to make purchases.
- Identity fraud.
You may also experience psychological harm and emotional distress, such as anxiety or depression. A pre-existing mental condition might even be worsened.
Though you may be able to recover some financial losses without making a personal data breach claim, you might not be able to recover them all.
Making a personal data breach claim involves seeking compensation for the psychological and financial harm you’ve suffered.
What Should Nuffield Health Do After A Data Breach?
If there has been a healthcare provider data breach, the provider should take specific actions. This could include:
- Identifying whether the data breach risks the rights and freedoms of those whose personal data is involved.
- If it doesn’t risk their rights and freedoms, the healthcare provider should record the breach but doesn’t have to inform those affected or the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). (The ICO enforces data protection legislation in the UK.)
- If the data breach does risk the rights and freedoms of those whose personal data is involved, the healthcare provider has 72 hours to inform the ICO. They should also tell those affected without undue delay.
Action Taken By The ICO Against Private Healthcare Organisations
The ICO has powers enabling it to take punitive action against organisations that breach data protection laws. Actions taken can include an entry in the ICO breach register, ICO fines, and in extreme cases, prosecution.
The ICO makes a database of enforcement action it has taken available to the public. And this includes action taken against companies working in the healthcare sector.
When Could You Claim For A Breach Of The GDPR?
In order to make a data breach claim you must be able to show that:
- You’ve suffered mentally and/or financially because of a personal data breach.
- The data breach involved your personal information.
- The party that was supposed to protect your personal data (in this case, the healthcare provider) failed to do so because of positive wrongful conduct. For example, if they provided the best possible security measures and a cyberattack still led to your personal information being compromised, they might not be liable. However, if the security was substandard or poor employee training caused the data breach, they could be liable.
If you have evidence of a valid claim, why not get in touch with our advisors?
GDPR And Your Rights
Under the UK GDPR, you have individual rights when it comes to protecting your personal data. These rights are:
- You should be told about how your data will be used, processed and stored (right to be informed).
- If you ask for a copy of your personal data, it should be given to you (right of access).
- You might find that there is a mistake in the personal data that is stored about you. You can ask for it to be corrected (right to rectification).
- If you wish, under certain circumstances, you can ask for your personal data to be deleted (right to erasure).
- You can tell the healthcare provider how it can use your data, and stop it using it in certain ways (right to restrict processing).
- It should be possible for you to be sent a copy of your data in a format you can access (right to data portability).
- You also have rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.
- If you think your data has been used in a way you did not agree to, then you can complain about it (right to object).
Gathering Evidence Of Your Data Breach
In order for a data breach lawyer to be able to help you most effectively, you may need to start gathering evidence to support your claim. You’d need evidence that shows the effect the data breach has had on your mental health and finances, as well as your personal information being affected. For example, you could use:
- The results of a psychological evaluation showing the mental damage you have suffered.
- Documented proof of any financial losses you have suffered.
- Copies of communication between yourself and the healthcare provider that confirmed your personal data was involved in the data breach.
- Information about any complaint you made to the ICO (if you did) and the outcome.
Calculating Data Breach Claims Against Nuffield Health
If a data breach has harmed you mentally, you could be able to claim data breach compensation. The compensation table below shows example compensation ranges for varying severities of psychological harm.
The guidelines that are produced by the Judicial College were used as the basis for the figures in this compensation table. Legal professionals use these guidelines to help them when valuing injuries.
|Level of Severity
|Range of Compensation
|Up to £5,500
|Under this category, how long the mental disability lasted for and how much sleep and daily activities were affected will be taken into account.
|£5,500 – £17,900
|The claimant will have struggled to cope with life, work and education but there’ll be a clearly evidenced improvement and a good prognosis.
|£17,900 – £51,460
|The claimant will struggle with the above issues too, but the prognosis will be worse.
|£51,460 – £108,620
|The claimant will struggle with similar issues to the above but the prognosis will be very poor.
To prove your injuries were caused or worsened by the data breach and to evidence the severity, you would attend a medical assessment as part of the data breach claims process. An independent medical professional would:
- Assess your injuries
- Refer to past medical notes
- Discuss your experiences with you
They’d then create a report that your solicitor can use to help support and value your claim.
Material And Non-Material Damages That Could Be Awarded
There are two main reasons why you might be paid damages for a personal data breach. Firstly, for any mental harm that was caused by the data breach. This is known as non-material damages.
In the case of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc , the Court of Appeal held that those who have suffered psychologically because of a data breach don’t need to have also suffered a financial loss to be able to claim. Before this case, you needed to have suffered materially to have qualified to also claim for mental harm.
Secondly, you could claim damages based on the financial loss caused by the data breach. This is known as material damages.
This could be for the money that was stolen from your bank account (for example) that you weren’t able to recover. It could also be for costs you faced, such as the fee for having your passport replaced if that personal data was compromised.
To successfully claim material damages, you’d need to provide evidence of your losses such as:
- Credit scores
- Bank statements
No Win No Fee Claims Against Nuffield Health For A Medical Data Breach
A solicitor working under a No Win No Fee agreement, won’t expect any upfront solicitor fees or ongoing solicitor fees while the claim is being processed. You would only pay the solicitor their fees if the claim is won. If it is lost, then you don’t pay their fees at all.
If the claim is a success, you would pay a success fee to the solicitor. This is taken from the compensation only after it comes through. What’s more, this success fee is capped by law for your benefit.
Talk To Our Specialist Team
Are you wondering what you could do after a Nuffield Health data breach? Do you just need some free legal advice about claims for personal data breaches? Our advisors could help you. You can get in touch with them using the contact details below.
- Phone: 0800 073 8801
- Email: email@example.com
- Contact us using our online form
- Use our live webchat for instant answers
Frequently Asked Questions About Breaches Of The GDPR
Here we are going to provide some simple answers to common questions about healthcare data beaches.
What is the main cause of healthcare data breaches?
Personal data breaches can be accidental or deliberate. For example, human error might result in a data breach and cybercriminal activity might too.
How can security breaches be prevented in healthcare?
Healthcare providers can try to prevent personal data breaches by following the appropriate legislation, training staff in personal data security and installing solid security software for their online systems.
What is a breach in healthcare?
These other guides provide further information relating to data breach claims.
Visiting these external links could also be of use.
Thank you for reading our guide on what you could do following a Nuffield Health data breach.
Guide by MW
Edited by RV