My Data Privacy Was Breached By Ramsay Healthcare Group, Could I Claim Compensation?
In this guide, we discuss what you could do following a data breach by Ramsay Healthcare.
We will explain what data breaches are, and also explore which circumstances could cause you to be in a position to make a claim. Additionally, we look at No Win No Fee.
Many data breaches won’t necessarily be caused by the failings of a healthcare provider. However, if the provider’s positive wrongful conduct led to a data breach in which your personal data was involved, and you suffered mentally or financially, you could be in a position to claim.
Your potential claim would be unique, as is every claim. It would be based on its own circumstances that might share similarities with other claims, but not all aspects will be the same.
So, although we can give general advice about the claims process, we may not cover every question you may have. If you have more questions, just call and talk to our claims team on 0161 696 9685. They’re here for you 24/7 and can provide you with the answers you need for free.
Select A Section:
- A Guide On Claims For A Data Breach By Ramsay Healthcare Group
- What Is A Data Breach Claim Against Ramsay Healthcare Group?
- Third-Party Sharing Of Patient Data By A Healthcare Provider
- ICO Enforcement Action Against Private Healthcare Providers
- Calculating Compensation For A Data Breach By Ramsay Healthcare Group
- Types Of Compensation You Could Be Awarded For A Data Breach
- How The Information Commissioner Could Help Victims Of Private Healthcare Data Breaches
- No Win No Fee Claims For A Data Breach By Ramsay Healthcare Group
- Dealing With A Healthcare Data Breach Through A Specialist Solicitor
- What Should You Do If You’re The Victim Of A Healthcare Data Breach?
- Talk To A Healthcare Data Breach Solicitor
- FAQs On Data Breaches In Private Healthcare
- Where To Learn More
Reading this guide should equip you with the information you need to know about making a personal data breach claim.
We start this guide with several sections that give needed background information about data breaches. You will learn what a data breach is, how it could have happened, and how it could have a negative impact on your own life.
We have included a demonstrative compensation table, as well as a discussion of the reasons you might claim damages.
No Win No Fee claims are covered and you will learn about how a solicitor can help you claim as well.
Claim Time Limits
There is a time limit that you should begin your private healthcare data breach claim within. In general, the time limits are:
- 1 year if a breach of human rights is involved; or
- 6 years.
You can call our data breach claims team and find out exactly which time limit could apply based on your own unique situation.
Get More Help
Our advisors are available 24/7 and give free legal advice. If you have proof of a favourable claim, they could also connect you with our panel of lawyers. However, you’ll be under no obligation to proceed with this service. So why not get in touch today?
In order to make a personal data breach claim, you would need to prove that the healthcare provider failed in their responsibility to keep your personal data safe.
Below, we are going to take a look at how data breaches happen. An important thing to note is that not all data breaches will necessarily be caused by the provider’s failings. For example, they may have taken all reasonable measures to protect personal data from a cyberattack and one occurred anyway.
However, if the healthcare provider failed to provide cybersecurity, for example, they could be held responsible for the data breach. The healthcare provider would need to have committed positive wrongful conduct in order to be held responsible.
What Is A Data Breach?
Organisations that collect and process personal data should comply with legislation related to data privacy and safety. This includes the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) as well as the Data Protection Act 2018.
Personal information or personal data can identify you either on its own or in combination with other information. For example, your name and address are examples of personal data.
A personal data breach occurs when a security incident leads to the unlawful loss, alteration, destruction or unauthorised access to or disclosure of personal information. This can be accidentally or deliberately done.
How Does A Data Breach Happen?
Data protection law is intended to protect your personal data. But despite the best intentions of the healthcare provider and its staff, data breaches can still occur.
There are two primary causes of a data breach. They can be accidental or deliberate. For example:
- An employee accidentally sends an attachment containing personal information to a recipient who isn’t authorised to receive it but accesses it.
- A hacker uses the vulnerabilities of an online system’s security to steal personal information and ransom it.
In both cases, it could still be the healthcare provider that is to blame. For example, they might not have provided the employee with data protection training. And their online security may have needed updating some time ago.
Mistakes Causing A Data Breach
Mistakes that could cause a personal data breach can include:
- Throwing away an old hard drive or USB stick without wiping the device clean of all personal data.
- Accidentally emailing personal data to a third party that does not have a lawful basis to access it.
- Talking about someone’s medical information within earshot of those who aren’t authorised to have knowledge of it.
- Storing personal data on a device, such as a tablet or a laptop, but not securing it and the device was subsequently lost or stolen.
- Accidentally publishing personal data in a way that the general public can access it without a lawful basis.
Of course, there are other mistakes that could be made which could expose your data. These are just some examples.
Cyberattacks Causing A Data Breach
Cyberattacks occur when cybercriminals, such as hackers, attempt to access personal information. They can include:
- Hacking a password using a keystroke logger, and using it to access personal information.
- Acting as a legitimate company via messages or emails to make users provide their personal details (phishing).
- Tricking a user into downloading malicious software such as malware, a virus, or ransomware so that the cybercriminal can access personal information.
- Intercepting and reading the contents of data packets moving across a network (eavesdropping attack).
There are more types of cyberattacks that could exploit a vulnerability in the cyber security of a healthcare provider too.
The Damage A Data Breach Can Cause
If you have been the victim of a personal data breach, just think about the types of data you may have given the organisation previously, and the data they keep about you. Such personal data could include:
- Your medical records.
- The details of your medical insurance.
- Payment details such as bank account and credit/debit card information.
- Your telephone number, email address and postal address.
All of this data can be valuable to a cybercriminal. Some of it might be used to commit identity theft, for example, or to steal from you. Consequently, you may suffer financial loss or psychological harm.
How To Recover From A Data Breach
You may choose to contact the healthcare provider directly about the personal data breach. They may be able to resolve the situation for you.
If not, you could make a data breach claim. However, you’d only be able to do this if the provider’s positive wrongful conduct led to the data breach. In addition, you’d need to be able to prove that you endured financial loss or mental harm (or both) because of the data breach.
A data breach claim could help you recover from the impact of the personal data breach.
This guide on what could happen after a potential data breach by Ramsay Healthcare aims to give information to help you. However, should you have any outstanding questions, reach out to us.
When you provide your personal data to a healthcare provider, or as the organisation accrues medical data about you, it should only be used in the way that you have authorised it to be used. The healthcare provider cannot simply share your data with any third party it cares to. This would be a breach of UK GDPR.
However, there are lawful exceptions where a company can share your information without your consent.
Unfortunately, staff can make mistakes, or simply not be aware of how UK GDPR works, and what their responsibilities are. An employee may accidentally send your private data to a third party, not understanding they have done anything wrong.
If a healthcare provider’s positive wrongful conduct causes a data breach, it might be because, for example, they didn’t give their staff appropriate training. Their cybersecurity may be subpar. In these instances, if you can prove that you suffered financial loss or mental harm due to the data breach, you could claim.
If there is a personal data breach caused by a company’s failings, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) may take action. The ICO is an independent authority that enforces data protection law.
Indeed, the ICO has taken punitive action against organisations in the past. However, the ICO needs to know about the data breach before it can take action.
You should contact the ICO with your data breach complaint only after you’ve tried to resolve it directly with the healthcare provider but have not reached a satisfactory conclusion. You should contact the ICO within three months of the last meaningful response from the provider. Waiting longer than this can impact the ICO’s decisions.
They may investigate the claim. But they can’t offer you compensation if you suffered financial loss or psychological harm due to the data breach. You could, however, seek this by making a compensation claim.
If your personal data breach claim is a success, you could receive compensation that is calculated on the amount of psychological suffering and financial loss you have encountered. The compensation table below reflects this. We based this table on recommended figures provided in guidelines produced by the Judicial College. Solicitors use these guidelines to help them when valuing injuries.
|Problem with Health||Severity||Potential Compensation||More Information|
|Psychological harm||Severe||£51,460 - £108,620||The claimant would suffer significant problems relating to coping with life and work, for example. The prognosis would be very poor.|
|Psychological harm||Moderately severe||£17,900 - £51,460||The claimant would suffer similarly to the above, but the prognosis would be better.|
|Psychological harm||Moderate||£5,500 - £17,900||The prognosis would be good.|
|Psychological harm||Less severe||Up to £5,500||This award would take into consideration how long the claimant suffered, how their sleep was impacted and how daily life was affected.|
If you can’t see your injuries in the compensation table above or you’d like a free estimate, why not contact our advisors?
There are two primary reasons for claiming compensation through data breach claims:
- The psychological damage caused by the personal data breach,
- The financial loss the data breach has caused you.
In 2015, the case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc set the precedent for data breach claims involving damages for psychological harm but not financial loss. Thanks to this case, you could claim for the psychological damage caused by a data breach, even if you didn’t also suffer financial loss. Before the case, that wasn’t possible.
Personal data breaches can cause psychological harm such as stress or anxiety. And depending on the severity of the psychological condition, a provision for compensation could be part of your overall settlement. This compensation is called non-material damage.
Financial loss could cover the debts or spending that a cybercriminal has run up in your name and you weren’t able to recover. In addition, it could cover the actual costs of recovering from a data breach. This could include the fee for having a new passport issued, for example. You may have had to pay for therapy that wasn’t covered by the NHS. You could potentially recover these costs through compensation. This would be material damage.
Before you engage a data breach solicitor to help you, you may choose to report your issue to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). (Please note that you do not have to make a complaint to the ICO as a precursor to making a claim. You can make a claim regardless of whether you have reported the problem to the ICO.)
The ICO will not generally take any action for a complaint that is made longer than three months since your last communication with the organisation responsible for the data breach.
So, you should first complain to the organisation itself, and then if you have not received a reply, or the issue has not been resolved satisfactorily, you could then report the issue to the ICO. However, as mentioned, you’d need to do this within three months of the last meaningful response.
The ICO could investigate or fine the company, but they wouldn’t be able to give you compensation for any mental harm or financial loss. However, you could make a compensation claim.
You may be able to make a claim under a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that your lawyer will not be paid their fee until the claim has been won, and they have received a compensation payment for you.
You won’t be expected to pay a penny in solicitor fees if the No Win No Fee claim loses.
Additionally, under a No Win No Fee agreement, you will not be expected to pay any upfront solicitor fees at the start of your claim, or ongoing solicitor fees as it progresses.
If the claim fails, no solicitor’s fee will be paid. And if the claim is won, you would pay a success fee. This is a small percentage of the compensation and it is legally limited. You’ll know about it before you agree to work with your solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis.
To find out more, why not call us?
A healthcare data breach could cause you significant financial loss and psychological stress. In order for you to have the best chance of winning a compensation claim, you may choose to use the services of a solicitor. Our panel of solicitors can:
- Cut through legal jargon.
- Handle your claim from beginning to end.
- Advise you throughout the claim.
- Work for you from anywhere in the country, so you’re not restricted to the services of local solicitors.
- Deal with the claim in court if necessary—most claims are settled outside of court.
- Negotiate with the other side on your behalf.
If our advisors find that you have solid grounds for claiming, they could connect you with our panel of solicitors. Why not call and talk to them? They’re available 24/7.
After a data breach, you may want to take specific action to control the extent of the harm it causes you. For example, in certain circumstances, you may decide to:
- Get a fresh driving licence and passport, where necessary.
- Have your credit and debit cards reissued.
- Open a new bank account and close the impacted one.
- Report the problem to the ICO.
- Arrange for a data breach lawyer to begin processing a compensation claim.
If you want some more advice on what to do after a data breach, please call and talk to our advisors. They can tell you what action might be appropriate to take, based on your own circumstances.
In this guide, we explore what you could do after a data breach by Ramsay Healthcare. However, you may have unanswered questions.
Do you need some free legal advice about making a compensation claim? Do you have evidence of a valid claim? Our claim advisors can assist you. You can:
- Contact us about your situation.
- Call us on 0161 696 9685.
- Use our live chat to get instant answers.
Our advisors are available round the clock. That means that you can contact us whenever you’re ready. Plus, they give free legal advice and you’ll be under no obligation to proceed with the services of our panel of solicitors.
Below are answers to some of the most common data breach claim questions.
How do you respond to a healthcare data breach?
You could contact the healthcare provider if they’re responsible for the breach. If this does not solve the problem, you can report it to the ICO. You may also like to make a compensation claim for the mental harm and financial loss the data breach caused you.
What are the most common causes of health information system breaches?
Data breaches in the health sector can be caused by employee errors or malicious cyberattacks, amongst other triggers.
What are the most common causes of health information system breaches and how can these be prevented?
Health information system breaches can be caused by:
- Password attacks.
- Phishing attacks.
- Man in the middle attacks.
Though they might not always be prevented, efforts can be made to reduce the likelihood of them happening through staff training or appropriate cybersecurity, for example.
Here are some links to similar guides on this site. They may be worth reading.
These external links could also be of some use:
Thank you for reading our guide exploring what you could do after a potential data breach by Ramsay Healthcare.
Written by MW
Edited by RV