If your personal data is compromised in a clinic data breach, this could cause significant harm. A personal data breach can have many ill effects on your life. For example, you may experience psychological injuries from the amount of stress such an event could put you under.
Clinics are a way for people to seek out medical advice and attention. Clinics often focus on one area of care. These can range from sexual health clinics to vaccinations and primary care screenings.
In this guide, we’ll look at the ways in which a personal data breach can occur in a healthcare setting. We’ll also detail what a personal data breach is and what criteria your case must meet to form the basis of a valid claim.
Following this, we will explain how compensation is calculated in personal data breach claims. We will provide examples of compensation guidelines from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) and will detail the two heads of compensation that could make up your claim.
We have a panel of data breach solicitors that our team of advisors can put you in touch with. To find out if your claim is valid, contact our advisors today by:
- Contact us online
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Select A Section
- What Is A Data Breach At A Clinic?
- What Happens When Data Is Breached?
- How To Prove A Personal Data Breach Claim
- Clinic Data Breach – What To Do
- Clinic Data Breach Compensation Amounts
- Using A No Win No Fee Clinic Data Breach Solicitor
Clinics can provide you with primary care and specialist care, depending on what treatment you require. Through clinics, pharmacies and private healthcare providers, medical professionals and administrative staff can collect a large amount of your personal data. This is any information that could identify you, like your email address, phone number, or postcode.
However, medical data falls into a subcategory of personal data known as special category data. This requires extra protection due to it’s sensitive nature. This includes your medical records, and information relating to your treatments and medical conditions.
The personal data that you provide to a GP surgery or other clinics is protected under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). According to this legislation, a personal data breach refers to the loss, accidental or unlawful destruction, unauthorised disclosure of, alteration, or access to, personal data.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent watchdog responsible for upholding this legislation. The ICO cannot provide compensation, however, they can investigate organisations.
How Common Are These Breaches?
As there isn’t any specific data on clinic data breaches, we can use the statistics for the health sector as a whole. These statistics are provided by the ICO through their data security incident trends.
In Q4 of the 2021/22 financial year, there were 2,172 reported data security incidents. Of this number, the health suffered the most, with 427 reported incidents.
To learn more about making a clinic data breach claim, contact our team.
Not all personal data breaches will become a valid claim. To be eligible to claim:
- The breach has to occur because of the organisation’s failings
- You must experience harm
- The breach must include your personal data
For example, an employee at a clinic may fail to use the blind carbon copy (BCC) feature in a batch email. This exposes the email addresses of fellow recipients and may result in a personal data breach claim. This is an example of how human error can contribute to a breach.
Clinics must also ensure that they have cybersecurity systems and policies and that these systems meet the standards set out by legislation. If they fail to do so, cybercriminals may use viruses and malware to steal personal data from internal networks. However, to claim for a cyberattack, you must be able to prove that the clinic did not have adequate cybersecurity policies in place.
To find out if you could be eligible to make a claim, contact our team today.
As you go through the claims process, you’ll need some forms of evidence to help strengthen your claim. This can be evidence to prove financial losses, psychological harm or confirmation of the breach.
- Log or note any correspondence that you have with the organisation or company. For example, this could be a letter of notification confirming the breach.
- Evidence of financial loss can come in the form of bank statements or credit reports.
- Evidence of mental health conditions could come in the form of medical reports or a letter from your GP.
Contact our advisors today to find out how a solicitor from our panel could help you gather evidence and strengthen your clinic data breach claim.
If you do not receive notification of a breach but suspect that there has been one, then you can get in touch with the company. Opening this line of communication is a beneficial way for you to receive information from the company directly.
However, if there has been a breakdown in communication or the communication halts altogether, then you can make a complaint to the ICO. The ICO may open an investigation and determine whether the organisation is at fault. While the ICO cannot provide compensation, it may impose a fine upon the organisation.
Finally, you may wish to seek legal representation following a clinic data breach. Contact our advisors today to learn how a solicitor from our panel could help you.
Data breach compensation is split into two different forms of damage:
- Non-material damage: This provides compensation for the psychological injuries you suffer as a result of the breach. For example, depression, anxiety, or distress.
- Material damage: This covers financial losses that you suffer due to the breach. For example, this may include money stolen from your account following a breach of credit card details, or damage to your credit score.
Following the Court of Appeal ruling in Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc , you may pursue non-material damage without also pursuing material damage. In the past, non-material damage claims were not valid without a material damage claim.
For the compensation table below, guideline compensation brackets relating to non-material damage have been taken from the 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document often helps legal professionals value claims, ranging from personal injury to personal data breach.
|Injuries||Compensation||Description of injuries|
|Psychological harm: Severe (a)||£54,830 to £115,730||Severe and permanent issues arise in coping with day-to-day life.|
|Psychological harm: Moderately Severe (b)||£19,070 to £54,830||All forms of stress-related illnesses result in long-lasting effects.|
|Psychological harm: Moderate (c)||£5,860 to £19,070||A good prognosis following a significant improvement of symptoms by the time of trial.|
|Psychological harm: Less Severe (d)||£1,540 to £5,860||The length of disability is considered, as well as any continuing effects on daily activities.|
|Anxiety disorder: Severe (a)||£59,860 to £100,670||Permanent, severe symptoms create an inability to function as before the illness.|
|Anxiety disorder: Moderately Severe (b)||£23,150 to £59,860||A better prognosis reflects the chance of some recovery with professional help.|
|Anxiety disorder: Moderate (c)||£8,180 to £23,150||With an ongoing recovery, there may be some effects that continue. These effects aren't disabling.|
|Anxiety disorder: Less Severe (d)||£3,950 to £8,180||The recovery has been made within a small time period of 1 to 2 years.|
These figures are only guidelines. For a free assessment of your claim’s worth, contact our team today.
Our experienced panel of data breach solicitors may be able to provide you with a No Win No Fee service if you choose to continue with your claim. A No Win No Fee agreement such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) can help you fund legal representation to assist you through the claims process. However, there are no upfront fees when you use a CFA, and no ongoing fees either.
If your claim is successful, then you will pay a success fee. This is a percentage of your compensation. However, there is a legal cap. Your solicitor will discuss this with you beforehand. But, if your claim does not succeed, you will not pay a success fee.
Get in touch with our advisors today to learn how a solicitor from our panel could help you:
Where To Read More About Making A Claim
For more helpful articles:
- Data Breach Claims Against Bupa
- Data Breach Claims Against The NHS
- Transform Hospital Group Data Breach
Or, for more resources:
If you need any more advice or information on what you can do if your information has been compromised in a clinic data breach. Speak to one of our advisors today.
Written by EW
Edited by CH