Though it might sound hard to believe, loss of medical records occurs almost daily. For example, you can see this in:
- miscommunication between companies*;
- even just forgetfulness.
Compensation for loss of medical records, therefore, is a weighty issue in UK medical and personal data law. Your medical records could be subject to inadvertent deletion, theft or misplacing. In turn, this is a form of medical negligence.
As a result, you can go into surgery with a doctor who is not entirely up to date with your records. You can receive a misdiagnosis because your doctor doesn’t have access to your family history.
Alternatively, you could also miss prescriptions or get double doses that “make up” for what you have missed.
- As a result, this could prove to be fatal;
- Moreover, personal consequences can be disastrous;
- In addition, it may turn your whole life upside down.
For reasons like these, in short, the ability to claim NHS compensation is critical.
How Can a Hospital or Doctor Lose Your Records?
There are a variety of ways that a hospital or doctor could lose your record. From a thief that steals a medical professional’s personal laptop, to:
- a mistake in delivery;
- hacking, and;
- even because the elimination of data didn’t happen correctly.
Sensitive data loss happens, but it is not your fault, and if this loss of data causes you injury or pain then you deserve medical negligence compensation.
What are the Dangers of Loss of Medical Records Negligence?
The reason why compensation for the loss of medical records is so dangerous is that it inhibits your doctor’s ability to fully diagnose you, treat you, and so on. Keeping records confidential and safe is just one of the areas of care that they need to be careful with.
Because it’s not on you to keep track of your medical history or those of your family members. After all, how many people remember the exact date of their vaccination boost? How many keep track of their next pap smear, let alone their last one?
This information needs to be available to your doctor for a good reason. Moreover, having it go missing entirely, or parts of it go missing can be dangerous for your health. It could mean your surgeon doesn’t know about an old injury you suffered that will cause complications in the surgery room.
It could mean that your doctor issues a medication that is ineffective by proof. But, because the medication falls under a totally different brand name, you may not even notice. Thus, medical negligence claims and clinical negligence cases can result.
Patient Data and Patients Records
There are so many issues that can occur that would result in patient harm. That’s why if you’re a victim to negligence via medical record loss, you deserve compensation to cover the damages of medical negligence.
- Because it wasn’t your fault that they lost your files;
- It also isn’t your fault if someone steals your files;
- Furthermore, it is their responsibility to inform you and to try to fill those gaps as soon as possible.
On the other hand, stolen medical records could be a personal danger to you. They are confidential for a reason and could be disastrous if sold or made public. Though this is illegal due to the Data Protection Act 2018 legislation, hackers could often care less about that. Test results (such as blood tests), personal injury history, your email address and other sensitive data can be up for grabs when health services protection is compromised.
Who can access records in England?
NHS England states that Primary Care Support England (PCSE) stores medical records for:
Individuals who are not currently registered with a GP practice in England;
Individuals who are deceased.
Under certain circumstances, you can submit a Subject Access Request. You do so on your own behalf or someone else not currently registered with GP surgery in England. But they won’t store things such as
- X-rays, transparencies & hospital records (apply to the NHS Foundation Trust in question for either of those), or;
- Private clinic records (you need to go through the clinic itself for those).
Can You Claim Compensation?
You can claim compensation for medical data loss with the help of medical negligence solicitors. We refer to this as medical data breach compensation. To help you through the process, all you need to do is fill in the contact form with us today. Because in an era of data protection and a potential claim against an NHS Trust or GP surgery, you need an ally when a lost medical record threatens everything you hold dear.
*Incidentally, this miscommunication results in a new industry. Namely, the warehouse storage of medical records, in opposition to the simple delivery of them to their respective destinations.