By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 6th February 2024. Welcome to this guide covering what you could do after a GP data breach. If you’ve been psychologically harmed by a GP surgery data breach, you may be wondering whether there’s anything you could do about it. A GP breach of data protection could, after all, have caused you anxiety, data breach distress and may have even caused you to lose sleep.
You may already know that if you’re affected financially by a breach of your data protection rights in the UK, you could be eligible for compensation. But did you also know that you could claim for the emotional harm a breach causes too? We have put together this guide to help you if you’ve suffered distress, anxiety, or any other psychological injuries due to such a breach.
In the sections below, we give you an insight into the laws that protect your personal data. We explain what your data protection rights are, and how a GP surgery could breach them. In addition to this, we explain the reason you could claim for psychological injuries and give you some insight into guideline payout amounts for such injuries.
Whether a GP breach of data protection happened by accident or was the result of malicious behaviour or negligence, we’d be happy to help you with your claim. We could offer you a free, no-obligation eligibility check, answer your questions and even refer you to a No Win No Fee lawyer to help with your claim. If you’d like to speak to our team, simply call 0800 073 8801, and we’ll be happy to help you.
- Can I Make A GP Surgery Data Breach Claim?
- How Could A GP Surgery Data Breach Happen?
- What Evidence Do I Need For A GP Surgery Data Breach Claim?
- How Is Compensation Calculated In A GP Surgery Data Breach Claim?
- No Win No Fee Personal Data Breach Claims Against A GP Surgery
- Related Guides For GP Data Breach Claimants
Any organisation that processes your personal data, such as your GP surgery, must take the necessary steps to ensure its safety. Personal data is any information that could identify you either directly or in combination with other data, such as your name, national insurance number and home address.
Additionally, organisations processing your personal data must adhere to the rules and regulations found within the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), as together they make up data protection laws.
Failing to comply with data protection laws could lead to a breach that compromises the integrity, availability or confidentiality of your personal data.
To be eligible to make a compensation claim for a GP surgery data breach, you will need to prove:
- The data breach was caused by your GP surgery failing to do or not do something.
- Your personal data was compromised in the breach.
- Due to your personal data being breached, you suffered financial or mental harm.
If you are eleigible to make a claim for data breach compensation, you must also ensure to begin legal proceedings within the correct time limit. Generally, you will have 6 years to start your personal data breach claim. However, this time limit is reduced to 1 year if you’re claiming against a public body.
To check if you may have a valid claim for a personal data breach, you can contact our advisors.
What Personal Data Could A GP Surgery Hold About Me?
Patient medical records could contain a variety of personal information. They may contain:
- Your contact information, such as your name, date of birth, contact details, email address, and location details.
- Financial data: If you pay for treatment, a GP surgery could have some of your financial information such as your credit card details or bank details.
- Special category data: This could include information on your ethnic origin, health data, biometric information and sexual orientation, for example.
Depending on the nature of the breach and the type of data that is breached, it could cause you both non-material and material harm. If you’ve suffered financial loss or emotional harm from a GP surgery data breach, you could claim compensation for both or either.
A GP surgery data breach could happen in a number of different ways, for example:
- Malicious cyber attack: A cybercriminal could find out what parts of a GP surgery’s computer systems are vulnerable. They could then launch an attack on cloud databases, or even through a VPN (virtual private network). Once they’ve gained access to computer systems, they could use spyware, malware, ransomware or other types of cyber attack.
- Staff mistakes: A breach of data protection law could also happen because a member of staff makes an error. They could accidentally have sent your data to someone who shouldn’t have seen it. Or, they may even have left a filing cabinet unlocked which contained personal data, allowing someone to gain unauthorised access.
Whether your data breach claim relates to a phishing attack, malware, an employee error or negligence, we could assess your case to see if you could claim. We’d be happy to help you by providing you with a data breach solicitor who could fight for the compensation you deserve.
You would need evidence to make a claim for GP surgery data breach compensation. Evidence that could be useful in helping you prove your claim could include:
- A copy of the data breach complaint you’ve sent to the surgery’s data protection officer
- The surgery’s response to your report (if one exists)
- The surgery’s notification that you were the victim of a patient data breach
- Any evidence of the breach itself
- Any documents that evidence the financial impact of the breach
- A medical report, if you intend to claim for psychological or psychiatric injuries
If you’d like to know what evidence could be useful for your specific case, why not call our team. We’d be happy to answer your questions and get you the help you need.
If you successfully claim data breach compensation, you could be compensated for your material and non-material damage.
Non-material damage is another way of saying the mental harm you have suffered due to the personal data breach. For example, following a personal data breach, you may suffer with anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Those valuing your claim for your non-material damage may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) alongside medical evidence to help them. This document provides a list of different physical and mental injuries and assigns them guideline compensation brackets. We have used some of these guidelines for the table below, except for the first entry.
|Psychiatric/ Psychological Injury Type
|JCG Compensation Guidelines
|Severe mental harm with financial losses
|Up to £150,000+
|Serious mental health damage as well as significant financial loss, which may include loss of income.
|Psychological injuries in general
|£54,830 to £115,730
|Severe – would impact the ability to work and keep up relationships long-term. (a)
|Psychological injuries in general
|£19,070 to £54,830
|Moderately severe – A bette prognosis than above but still with significant impact. (b)
|Psychological injuries in general
|£5,860 to £19,070
|Moderate – A good prognosis and some improvement would already have been experienced. (c)
|Psychological injuries in general
|£1,540 to £5,860
|Less severe – Less severe impacts and any continuing symptoms would not be so troublesome. (d)
|£59,860 to £100,670
|Severe – would impact all aspects of the person’s life and leave them with a poor prognosis. (a)
|£23,150 to £59,860
|Moderately severe – A significant impact on the person’s life but a better prognosis. (b)
|£8,180 to £23,150
|Moderate – Significant improvement by the time the case is settled and a good prognosis. (c)
|£3,950 to £8,180
|Less severe – Only minor symptoms prevail and they are not grossly disabling. (d)
Material damage is another way of saying the financial losses you have suffered due to the personal data breach. For example, if your credit card information was compromised, this could result in charges being made to that card and this could also affect your credit score.
You will need to provide evidence of your material damage in order to claim compensation for it, such as a copy of your credit card or bank statements.
To learn more about what evidence you might need to support a claim for a medical data breach for material or non-material damage, please contact an advisor.
If you are eligible to claim data breach compensation, you may like to do so with legal representation. One of our data breach solicitors could support your claim. Our solicitors typically provide their services under a type of No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
When you make a claim for a medical data breach with the support of a No Win No Fee solicitor, there generally aren’t any upfront or ongoing payments for your solicitor’s services. Furthermore, if you aren’t awarded compensation following an unsuccessful personal data breach claim, you won’t be asked to pay a solicitor’s fee for their work on your case.
However, if you are awarded compensation for a breach of your medical records, your solicitor will take a success fee from your compensation. This amount is a limited percentage that is subject to a legal cap.
Contact A Data Breach Claims Advisor
Are you ready to begin a compensation claim for a GP surgery data breach or do you have further questions you’d like us to answer? Either way, we’d be happy to assist. You can reach our friendly team of expert advisors:
- By calling 0800 073 8801
- Via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By using our contact form
- Through our live chat
- Guide To Data Breaches – NSCS: The National Cyber Security Centre provides information on what action a person could take if they have suffered a data breach.
- Results Of The Cyber Security Survey: You can read about how many organisations have reported data breaches, and other information relating to breaches in the government’s survey.
- Data Protection Gov.uk: You can read the government’s guide to data protection here.
- Stress Claims: If you’re suffering from stress relating to a work data breach, this guide could give you some insight into making claims for stress.
- Anxiety Compensation: Claiming compensation for anxiety? This guide could give you some useful information.
- Are There Potential Pitfalls To Suing An Employer?: If you’re worried about what claiming against an employer could mean for you, this guide could offer some reassurance.
Thank you for reading our guide to making a GP surgery data breach claim.