My Data Privacy Was Breached By Spire Healthcare, Could I Claim Compensation?
This guide explores the justifications and evidence that might be needed to make a claim after a data breach by Spire Healthcare. However, the information contained within can also act as a resource for claims related to healthcare data breaches in general. Once you have read this guide, you should understand whether you could have a valid claim, and also what a data breach claim is.
Claims are based on circumstances that are unique to the individual. And while yours may share similarities with others, enough for this guide to be of use to you, you may well have questions that this guide has not answered. If so, you can reach out to our team on 0161 696 9685 to get the answers that you need.
Our advisors are available 24/7 and give free legal advice. What’s more, you’ll be under no pressure to proceed with the services of our panel of solicitors. So, if you have evidence of a valid claim, call us or use our live chat today.
Select A Section:
- A Guide On Claims For A Data Breach By Spire Healthcare
- What Is A Data Breach Claim Against Spire Healthcare?
- The GDPR And Third Party Sharing Of Medical Records By Healthcare Providers
- What Enforcement Action Has The ICO Taken Against Healthcare Providers?
- Calculating Compensation For A Data Breach By Spire Healthcare
- Types Of Compensation You May Be Awarded For A Data Breach
- How To Report Your Healthcare Provider To The Information Commissioner’s Office
- No Win No Fee Claims For A Data Breach By Spire Healthcare
- How A Solicitor Could Help You Deal With A Data Breach
- What Should You Do If Your Private Medical Information Has Been Exposed?
- Talking To A Data Protection Breach Solicitor
- FAQs On Breaches Of Your Medical Privacy
- Where To Learn More
What is a healthcare data breach? This guide will explain and we’ll also explore what justifies data breach claims. We look at how data breaches can happen and the effect that one could have on your life. We will also touch on the potential trauma of dealing with a data breach.
We’ll also look at how compliance with data protection laws allows data controllers to protect your personal data. A data controller is an organisation (such as a healthcare provider) that decides why and how your data will be processed.
Additionally, we’ll discuss your rights as a data subject. A data subject is a person whose data is processed.
We will take a look at the role that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) takes following data breaches, and how it has been put in place to police data privacy and security in the UK.
The final few sections of this guide look at several aspects of the claims process itself. We have provided you with an illustrative compensation table, as well as an explanation of the circumstances under which you could be in a position to claim compensation.
ICO complaints are touched on, and we explain how making a complaint is not necessarily a required precursor to making a compensation claim for a data breach.
The concept of a No Win No Fee claim is covered, including an explanation of the benefits of making a claim under such an arrangement. We also list some of the ways that a solicitor could help you in making a claim.
Claim Time Limits
There will be a time limit that your claim must be started within. As long as you begin your claim for a data breach within this time limit, you should have as long as you need to complete it. The time limit could be:
- 6 years from the date you obtained knowledge of the breach.
- 1 year if your case involves human rights breaches.
If you have evidence of a valid claim, you can call and talk to our claims team to check which time limit may apply in your own case.
Do You Need More Help?
We know that sometimes it’s easier to talk to a professional. So, you can call the contact number at the end of the page. One of our advisors could provide help and free legal advice.
There are rules and regulations in place that are intended to enforce the protection of your personal data. Every healthcare provider that processes personal information would need to comply with legislation such as the Data Protection Act 2018.
Therefore, a data breach could be deemed to have occurred when the provider has not complied with GDPR and this caused your personal data to be exposed or used in an inappropriate way.
A data breach occurs when a breach in security leads to personal data being lost, destroyed, accessed, altered, or disclosed in an unlawful way. This could be accidental or deliberate.
How Does A Data Breach Happen?
A private healthcare data breach can involve either physical data such as printed patient records, or data that is stored digitally. UK data privacy and security regulations apply to both physical and digital personal data.
A breach can be caused by some kind of omission or mistake on the part of an employee of the healthcare provider. Or it could be caused by the actions of a third party, such as a cybercriminal gaining access to your personal data through nefarious means.
Physical Data Breaches
There are many ways in which a data breach could happen involving physical medical records or personal information. For example:
- Documents that contained your personal data were lost.
- Your medical records were left open in a place where unauthorised people could read them.
- Your medical records are given to the wrong person by mistake.
- Records are kept in unlocked filing cabinets that someone who doesn’t have authorisation is able to access.
- After a break-in, it is found that your medical records are amongst the items stolen.
Digital Data Breaches
A healthcare provider should have in place processes and systems for ensuring cybersecurity. This is to protect them against intrusion from a cyber attack, and also against internal misuse of digital personal data. A data breach has the potential to occur if computer and network security is lax.
Various cyberattacks such as man-in-the-middle, eavesdropping, phishing, hacking, SQL injection or drive-by attacks expose a shortcoming in data security. These attacks can be used to gain access to digitally stored personal data. Malware, spyware, ransomware or some other form of malicious software such as a virus can also be used.
Digital data breaches can occur accidentally too. For example:
- Hard drives, USB sticks and other digital storage media should be wiped before being disposed of. Simply deleting the files on the device may not be enough. A data breach could occur if someone were to access the personal information held on the device.
- Employees could email your personal data to somebody who should not have it.
- Your personal data is used by the healthcare provider in a way that you have not given explicit permission for.
What Could Be Involved In A Data Breach?
The data that healthcare providers may hold about you includes:
- Your email address, telephone numbers and address.
- Medical records and other patient data.
- Financial information such as bank details or bank card details.
Recovering From A Data Breach
The cost of a healthcare data breach could be very high, potentially even identity theft. You may suffer financially because a criminal:
- Accesses your bank account and spends your money.
- Buys goods or services using your debit or credit cards.
- Takes out new loans or credit agreements in your name (in the case of identity theft).
- Hires expensive items such as a car, and doesn’t return them.
Data breaches can have serious consequences. Even the process of having credit cards reissued or changing bank accounts could be stressful. As we will see later in this guide, it could be possible to make a claim for this psychological harm.
If you would like our advice about what could justify a claim for a data breach by Spire Healthcare, why not ask for a free assessment of your case today?
Under the GDPR, healthcare providers that process personal data should protect it. However, sometimes a data breach can occur due to human error. A way to avoid such a data breach could involve the healthcare provider appropriately training staff in data security.
A common example of a data breach caused by human error is someone accidentally sharing your personal data with somebody who doesn’t have permission to see it. In a healthcare environment, this could happen when an employee emails your medical information to an outside party. They may attach your record instead of another patient’s, for example.
This could also happen deliberately. Your personal data may be shared with a third party, such as an outside researcher, without your permission.
Therefore, it is vital that every healthcare provider trains its staff in their responsibilities in relation to data privacy and protection laws. The healthcare provider could be liable due to the negligent actions of its staff.
If you want some more information on how to make a claim if you can prove your personal data has been sent to an unauthorised person, call our advisors today.
The ICO is responsible for enforcing GDPR compliance in the UK. It can take action against offenders, including levying ICO fines and entering the data breach on the ICO breach register. In some cases, the offending organisation could also face prosecution.
The ICO maintains an online register of the actions it has taken in the past. You can see the recent enforcement action they’ve taken.
Under certain circumstances, you can complain to the ICO if you feel your personal data has been exposed or misused. We will cover this later on in this guide.
We don’t believe that coming up with a figure for the average settlement for data breach claims is necessarily always useful. That’s because each claim is different and compensation can vary from case to case.
Instead, we have provided you with the below compensation table. It shows how different conditions may be compensated. We based the figures on those provided in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is a publication solicitors may use when valuing injuries.
You can see that the more serious the health issue, the higher the compensation in general.
|Health Issue||Level of Severity||Potential Compensation|
|Psychological harm||Less severe||Up to £5,500|
|Psychological harm||Moderate||£5,500 - £17,900|
|Psychological harm||Moderately severe||£17,900 - £51,460|
|Psychological harm||Severe||£51,460 - £108,620|
|PTSD||Less severe||Up to £7,680|
|PTSD||Moderate||£7,680 - £21,730|
|PTSD||Moderately severe||£21,730 - £56,180|
|PTSD||Severe||£56,180 - £94,470|
In order to prove the severity of your condition and that the data breach caused or worsened it, you would need to attend a medical assessment as part of the claims process. You’d meet with an independent medical expert who would create a report and (if you choose to use the services of a solicitor), your solicitor would use it to help them value your claim. They should arrange the assessment for you.
If you have evidence of a valid claim but can’t see your condition in the compensation table above, get in touch. Our advisors could give you an idea of how your condition may be valued.
There are two types of compensation you could claim if you were the victim of a data breach. You could seek material damages or non-material damages. You could also claim both.
Material damages compensate you for financial loss. Non-material damages compensate you for psychological harm such as stress, anxiety or depression.
In the case of Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc , a precedent was set for claiming damages for psychological harm. The Court of Appeal held that you could claim for psychological damage even if you hadn’t suffered financially because of a data breach. The Court also held that psychological damage could be valued as it is during personal injury claims.
If you have evidence, you could claim back the financial loss you have faced in relation to debt, lost bank account funds, or spending on your cards that the data breach caused. You can call and speak with one of our advisors to learn more about this process.
Whether or not you decide to engage a data breach solicitor to help make a claim, you may wish to raise your concerns with the ICO. However, you don’t have to do this in order to be able to make a claim.
If you do decide to complain to the ICO, you should take the appropriate steps. First, you’ll be expected to raise the issue with the healthcare provider and see how they respond. If they don’t reply to you satisfactorily, you’ll have three months from the provider’s final response to contact the ICO about it.
Waiting longer than three months can impact the ICO’s decision on how they’ll handle your complaint.
It may be possible for you to make a data breach claim using the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor. Under such an arrangement, you wouldn’t pay any solicitor fees until the claim has been won.
So, this means no upfront charge by your solicitor, and no request for ongoing fees whilst your claim progresses. If the claim fails, you don’t pay your solicitor for their work. But if it is a success, you would pay a legally limited success fee. This can be taken directly out of the compensation payment that was received by your lawyer for you.
All of the solicitors on our panel offer No Win No Fee terms for valid claims. To find out if your claim has a favourable chance, get in touch today.
There are many ways that a solicitor could help you with a claim for a data breach. For example, they can:
- Advise you on how much compensation to seek.
- Assist you in gathering and submitting evidence to support your claim.
- Represent you in court if required.
- Arrange a local medical assessment for you.
There are other ways they could help, however. Get in touch to find out more.
If your personal data has been exposed in a data breach, you may need to first take action to stop any financial loss. This could involve stopping any credit/debit cards and bank accounts from being used by contacting your bank. If your bank details haven’t been accessed, however, this may not be a step you need to take.
Next, you can contact the data controller directly to resolve the situation. If they don’t respond satisfactorily, you could decide whether you want to make a complaint to the ICO.
However, you may want to move straight on to using the services of a data breach solicitor to make a claim. If you are unsure of what action to take, call and talk to one of our expert advisors.
Have you been the victim of a data breach? Do you have evidence of a valid claim? If so, please contact us using any of the following methods:
Telephone: 0161 696 9685
Below are some answers to some of the more common questions that people have about healthcare data breach claims.
What is a healthcare data breach?
A healthcare data breach is when your personal data has been lost, destroyed, accessed, altered, or disclosed in an unlawful way because of a healthcare provider’s security failings.
What medical data could be compromised?
Your patient records, medical history, test results and other personal information such as your name and address could be compromised.
Who is responsible for data security?
A data controller can be responsible for ensuring that a robust and dependable level of data security is in place.
These other guides have information that could be of use to you.
You might also like to check these external links for more information:
Thank you for reading this guide exploring what could justify a claim for a data breach by Spire Healthcare.
Written by MW
Edited by RV