‘Up to three’ staff face investigation over Kate Middleton medical notes ‘breach’


Princess Kate ‘reassuring’ Mother’s Day image ‘done completely opposite’, says royal biographer

Up to three staff at the private hospital where the Princess of Wales had surgery are being investigated for allegedly accessing her medical records, it’s been claimed.

Sources said three workers at the London Clinic could have tried to read her notes, according to The Mirror.

They could potentially face disciplinary action for any breach of data, and could be charged with a criminal offence by the data-protection watchdog and face an unlimited fine if they are found to have unlawfully accessed her records.

The hospital’s chief executive has promised a thorough investigation. Kate was admitted to the hospital for abdominal surgery on January 16.

The King’s personal data was not compromised during the alleged data breach at the London Clinic, it is understood.

The King and Kate were separately discharged from the clinic just hours apart on January 29.

In a statement, chief executive of the London Clinic Al Russell said: “There is no place at our hospital for those who intentionally breach the trust of any of our patients or colleagues.”

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‘Up to three clinic staff under investigation’

Up to three people could be involved in the alleged accessing of Kate’s medical records, it’s been claimed.

Sources said three staff at the London Clinic are being investigated, according to The Mirror.

The three could face disciplinary action for a potential breach of data.

Scotland Yard could be called in to investigate the reported action at the clinic in Marylebone, the paper said.

Health minister Maria Caulfield has already said police have been asked to look into the case.

(EPA)

Jane Dalton20 March 2024 19:40

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Camilla says grandson ‘quite a handful’

The Queen joked her grandson Louis was “quite a handful” as she met crowds of well-wishers on a visit to the Isle of Man.

Camilla made the comment as she greeted people outside Douglas Borough Council after presenting the letters patent, officially conferring city status on Douglas.

Meeting 38-year-old Rachael Hughes and her 15-week-old twin boys Louie and Oliver, the Queen said: “I have a Louis grandson… quite a handful”.

Ms Hughes said the Queen had come over to “admire” the boys in their matching blue outfits, adding: “[She] asked their names and said it gets easier when they are two.”

Camilla has three grandsons, twin boys Gus and Louis by her daughter Laura Lopes, and 13-year-old Frederick, by son Tom Parker Bowles.

She also has a step-grandson Prince Louis, the lively youngest son of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

The Queen, dressed in navy adorned with a sapphire and diamond brooch, made a flying visit to the isle on behalf of her husband the King, saying he was “so sorry” he could not be there himself to celebrate the “extremely special occasion”.

(PA)

Jane Dalton21 March 2024 04:25

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The law on accessing data

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, it is an offence for a person to obtain, disclose or retain personal data without the consent of the data controller.

The Information Commissioner’s Office can carry out criminal investigations and prosecute individuals where it believes an offence may have been committed.

Usually, an assessment of the breach report will be carried out by its Criminal Investigation Team, who will decide whether to proceed in accordance with the Regulatory Action Policy.

This decision includes looking at whether there is sufficient evidence to support a prosecution and whether it is in the public interest to do so.

Kate has the option of bringing a private prosecution with a civil action, and also potentially claiming compensation.

The police have powers to investigate and they do bring prosecutions under the Data Protection Act, normally when other offences are prosecuted at the same time.

Health minister Maria Caulfield said police had “been asked to look at” whether staff at the clinic attempted to access the princess’s medical records.

She said there could be “hefty implications” for accessing the notes without permission, including prosecution or fines.

Ms Caulfield said her understanding was that police had been contacted, although a Metropolitan Police spokesman said he was not aware of any referral to the force.

Jane Dalton21 March 2024 03:05

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‘It’s like their Co-op’: Inside farm shop at centre of whirlwind

Jane Dalton21 March 2024 00:30

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King’s records were not accessed

The King’s personal data was not compromised during the alleged data breach at the London Clinic, it is understood.

According to The Mirror, up to three people could have been involved in the alleged accessing of the Princess of Wales’s private medical records after Kate was discharged from hospital on January 29.

Charles, who is undergoing treatment for a form of cancer, was also treated at the London Clinic for an enlarged prostate during the same month.

The PA news agency understands that Charles’s medical records were not accessed in the alleged breach.

On Wednesday, the London Clinic vowed that “all appropriate investigatory, regulatory and disciplinary steps will be taken” over any breach.

Chief executive of the London Clinic Al Russell said: “There is no place at our hospital for those who intentionally breach the trust of any of our patients or colleagues.”

Jane Dalton20 March 2024 23:01

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Frenzy creates ‘chilling feeling’ like before Diana’s death, says royal expert

The editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine has said the online rumours and frenzy around Kate were “spiralling out of control”.

Ingrid Seward said she had a “chilling feeling” that reminded her of the time just before the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Ms Seward told Times Radio: “For me, it sort of has a very chilling feeling.

“It reminds me that just before the Princess of Wales was – the other, you know, Diana, Princess of Wales – was tragically killed in that car accident, it was spiralling out of control then.

“I remember every single day it was headline news – what she was doing on her holiday in France with Dodi Fayed.

“I just remember saying, ‘this is spiralling out of control’. And I’ve got the same feeling now.”

She said the royal family was entitled to privacy.

But Ms Seward warned that the Windsors needed a new strategy, and suggested the late Queen’s advice to ignore rumours belonged to a different era.

“I think it is a world that’s gone. As much as it did used to work. ‘Never complain, never explain’ did work, but it doesn’t work now, not in the age of social media,” she said.

Diana, the late Princess of Wales

(PA Archive)

Jane Dalton20 March 2024 21:45

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Queen visits Belfast

The Queen has arrived in Northern Ireland at the start of a two-day visit.

Camilla was greeted by staff at Hillsborough Castle in Belfast as she arrived at the royal residence on Wednesday evening.

She will undertake a series of engagements on Thursday.

(Peter Morrison/PA Wire)

(Peter Morrison/PA Wire)

Jane Dalton20 March 2024 20:35

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Accessing records could be criminal offence, warns watchdog

Data-protection watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office has put out questions and answers in view of the investigation over accessing the Princess of Wales’ medical records. It warns it could be a criminal offence, saying:

Should I be worried about someone looking at my medical records? Organisations have a responsibility to look after your personal information carefully. That means keeping it secure, and making sure it can only be seen by people who need to use it. If organisations do not keep your personal information safe in line with the law, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can step in. What can the ICO do? An organisation must report misuse of personal data to the ICO if there is a risk to people’s rights and freedoms, which is often the case with sensitive medical information. This must be reported within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach.

What happens next? Accessing someone’s medical records without cause or consent can be a criminal offence. If the ICO investigates and finds evidence that medical records were accessed illegally, it can take action. This can include prosecuting and fining the person responsible in court. For example, last year the ICO prosecuted a medical secretary who accessed over 150 people’s records. She was fined by the courts. The ICO can also take action against organisations, including fines, if an investigation finds they did not do enough to protect people’s personal information. For example, last year the ICO reprimanded an NHS Trust after it allowed a member of the public to read patient’s medical records.

Jane Dalton20 March 2024 19:00

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William on official duty

William was on official duties today amid speculation about Kate’s health.

The Prince of Wales, Colonel of the Welsh Guards, met military personnel from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards during a visit to Combermere Barracks in Windsor, Berkshire.

(Welsh Guards/Ministry of Defence/PA Wire)

(Welsh Guards/Ministry of Defence/PA Wire)

Jane Dalton20 March 2024 17:58

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Surgery a week after birthday

Kate was admitted to hospital a week after her 42nd birthday:

Jane Dalton20 March 2024 17:30



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