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NHS Records accessed by family member


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Hello everyone


Just after a bit of advice please,


my mother fears that her health records have been accessed by a member of our family.


Without going into detail there is private information (ony held on file) which was brought up in coversation by this family member who works at a hospital.

My mother has not attended this hospital since her toubles 12 years ago.


We do not want to make matters worse in the family and accuse this person,

so how would we discover if they have indeed been snooping at her files whilst on shift?


Thanks all

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If it is electronic access of the records you/she think may have happened then the only way to find out is to approach the hospital (perhaps through the PALS department)

and have a discussion with them and ask if they can get the IT department to look into what activity there has been on the computer system

and they should be able to see which departments/specific employees have accessed the records.


If the concern is that paper records have been accessed then there could be more problems finding a 'paper trail' to prove those concerns

unless the person requested the file from the medical records department.


The biggest issue though is that your relative is going to have to disclose why they want to know who has accessed the records before anything happens

- but she could impress on the person she speaks to that, pending the outcome of the investigation, she doesn't want to make a complaint

- though the hospital would have to act on any breaches of confidentiality they discover due to their duty of care to patients in respect of protecting patients information!!



Edited by Feebee_71
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It would be hard to say


if it was paper or electronic or if it had happened,


maybe they had a work collegue take a look,


but even more worrying is that they dropped something into the conversation that has never been discussed outside that hospital.


My mother is distraught as she still feels all this pain years on,


I don not understand why anyone from that hospital should have accessed her records or why as noone there has been responsible for her care for many years now.

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It is a shame there isn't a National Database, it would have meant that had you been away on holiday or work and something serious and unexpected happened, they would have instantly been able to check you file and if there were medicines you were allergic to and any present conditions that could be made worse by planned treatment, they could get on with helping or saving your life rather than have to send faxes etc to get your medical record before they could even start.

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My mother has since telephoned the hospital and they ran checks they said noone has viewed her file other than relevant staff back when she was in hosital some years ago. How can we be sure they are telling the truth? x

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Why would someone unconnected to any issues with potential access not tell you the truth??


Remember, unless you told them why you wanted to know, it could have been for any purpose including someone requesting information with valid reason!!



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How recently was this brought up in conversation? Assuming this was a recent conversation:


If your Mother hasn't attended the hospital for 12 years, it's fairly unlikely that any of the information about her treatment has been digitised, so I would be surprised if anyone could access it electronically. If it's paper notes, after being redundant for 6 years, they're usually sent to a file store of some kind to free up space in the medical records department or depot. From personal experience, accessing notes in this way is a pain in the backside...it usually requires a paper request to be faxed to the company holding the notes, which are then delivered to the named person requesting them. The only time that the named person would be different to the person who actually requested them would be when, say, a secretary requested them on behalf of a doctor.


In short, after 12 years I think it's quite unlikely that anyone has accessed your mother's records.

"Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me". Martin Niemöller


"A vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history". - Terry Pratchett


If I've been helpful, please click my star. :oops:

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It was brought up at a gathering before christmas, the hospital said that her records are all accessable on the system and that in order for staff to access them, the patient would need to be present.

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