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Chelsea And Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Amounts For Chelsea And Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Data Breach

I Was Affected By A Chelsea And Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Could I Claim Damages?

In this article, we’re going to explain when Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust data breach compensation claims might be necessary. And we’ll look at how the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR) and The Data Protection Act 2018 could be used to support such a claim.

Chelsea And Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust data breach claims guide

Chelsea And Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust data breach claims guide

One of the main reasons the GDPR was introduced was to provide individuals with better control over who can collect their data, why it can be used and who it is allowed to be shared with.

The regulation also places a duty on an organisation like an NHS Trust to ensure the data is kept securely. While that is true in many situations, it is possible for a simple mistake to lead to a breach of your data. Therefore, we’ll look at the potential impact of data breaches, why they could lead to compensation and what amount might be paid.

Legal Expert is here to help you if you are thinking about starting a claim. We provide completely free legal advice and a no-obligation consultation about your case. When your claim has been reviewed, the advisor could refer it on to one of our specialist solicitors if they believe it might be successful. Our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis for any claims they accept.

To begin your claim right away, please call us on 0800 073 8804 today. Otherwise, you can find out more about claiming for data breaches in the rest of this guide.

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A Guide To Chelsea And Westminster Hospital Data Breach Claims

Your personal data is obtained, stored and processed by different organisations every single day. In the old days, you might not have known it was happening but since the introduction of the GDPR, that has changed dramatically. It’s the reason you see those pop-up boxes asking you to confirm you’re happy for something to happen before you can access a new website.

Within an NHS environment, you might also be asked permission to use your data when you sign up to a service or agree to be treated.  In this case, rather than a pop-up box, you might fill in a registration form. When you do, there might be tick boxes asking for your permission to store your data, share it with others or use it as part of a trial.

These tick boxes go some way to helping the NHS meet their GDPR obligations. The next thing they need to do is only use the data in the way you’ve agreed to.

The purpose of this guide is to show you when you might need to claim for a Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust data breach. Therefore, we’ll show you examples of how breaches could happen and what sort of harm they can cause.

For your information, there is a 6-year limitation period in which data breach claims need to be made (or 1-year for claims relating to a breach of your human rights).

We’d advise that you seek legal representation as soon as you find out about the data breach rather than claiming in the 6th year. That way, not only will you give your solicitor time to carry out their work, but you’ll also find it easier to recall what happened. Therefore, why not call Legal Expert to have your claim assessed for free today?

What Counts As A Chelsea And Westminster NHS Data Breach?

When we talk about a personal data breach, we’re referring to a security breach which results in information that can be used to identify you being accessed, disclosed, destroyed, altered or lost by unauthorised organisations or individuals.

The act that led to the data breach doesn’t have to be deliberate, they can also be accidental and could pertain to physical or electronic data.

It’s common to think of data as something which is stored on a computer, but we’ll discuss cases where printed materials could also be the source of a data breach. For example, if medical records are thrown into a skip rather than being securely shredded or where a letter with your personal information is posted to the wrong address.

Part of the GDPR states that if the person responsible for your data becomes aware of a breach, they need to let you and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) know about it, especially if the exposed data poses a risk.

If you’re concerned that a Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust data breach has caused you harm, and would like advice, why not contact Legal Expert today for a free assessment of your claim?

GDPR And Medical Or Healthcare Data

To make it easier to understand the legal duty placed on an organisation under the GDPR, some important roles are defined. These include:

  • The Data Subject – this is an individual whose personal data is going to be processed.
  • A Data Controller – the organisation, an NHS Trust in this case, responsible for defining how and why data is to be processed.
  • The Data Processor – an organisation, or individual, who is going to process the data on behalf of the controller.

To make things clearer, the data processors role is bound by several GDPR principles, including:

  • The data subject must be told of the legitimate reason behind the data processing requirement.
  • Data should be processed confidentially and securely.
  • The minimum amount of data required to fulfil the objectives of processing should be collected.
  • All personal information processed should be kept up to date and accurate.
  • Retention of data should be in line with what was specified at the time of processing.
  • There needs to be a fair and lawful reason for processing data which is transparent to the subject.
  • The data controller should be able to demonstrate full compliance with these principles.

If you believe Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have failed to follow these principles and caused a data breach to occur, we could investigate whether a compensation claim is possible.  Please call today to let us know what happened.

How NHS Trusts And Clinics Could Breach Data Protection Law

Now we’re going to look at when and why data breaches might occur. As we’ve already mentioned, breaches that happen because data is hacked due to network or computer security issues are actually rarer than simple mistakes made by members of staff.

Here is a list containing some examples of what could cause a data breach:

  • If your personal data is included in a larger batch which is shared externally to an organisation you’ve not approved.
  • When a member of staff, who has no medical reason, accesses and reads your personal information.
  • When the hospital computer system is infected with malware, ransomware or viruses.
  • If personal information is sent in a letter or an email, intended for you, to another patient.
  • When documentation containing identifiable information is disposed of incorrectly.
  • If computer screens aren’t locked and non-medical staff can see your personal and sensitive information.

While it is possible for a data breach not to be spotted or not to cause any harm, a data controller who is made aware of one needs to let you know when it happened and what information was viewed. In some cases, breaches may be identified by internal audits or because somebody else reports the case to the ICO.

If you’d like to check if you’re able to claim for harm caused by a data breach, why not discuss what happened with a member of our team today?

ICO Data Protection Fines Made Against The Chelsea And Westminster Hospital

We’re now going to take a look at a serious data breach in which Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was fined £180,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The breach was the result of an email sent out by 56 Dean Street clinic in Soho, London. The clinic allowed clients with HIV to book appointments and receive test results via email. Also, it allowed them to subscribe to a monthly newsletter.

When sending the September newsletter, a member of staff inadvertently added the names and email addresses of over 700 clients to the ‘To’ field instead of the ‘BCC’ field of the email. That meant each recipient was able to view the names of other clients of the clinic.

The fine issued by the ICO was due to a serious breach of the Data Protection Act which is highly likely to have caused a large amount of distress. A statement from the ICO said, “The clinic served a small area of London, and we know that people recognised other names on the list and feared their own name would be recognised too.”

This incident wasn’t the first of its kind involving the Dean Street clinic either. In 2010 a similar mistake occurred where a questionnaire about HIV treatment was emailed to 17 patients. Again, the sender used the ‘To’ field meaning names and email addresses were visible to all recipients.


What Is The ICO And Should You Complain To Them?

When you make any type of compensation claim, you need evidence to substantiate what you’re alleging.

There are a number of ways to obtain evidence for data breach claims involving the NHS. The simplest form may be a letter from the NHS telling you what’s happened. If you find out in another way, you might need to raise a formal complaint.

When you complain to the NHS, you should receive a response from them with their findings. Within their letter, there should be details on how to escalate the complaint if you’re not happy with the outcome. This process may mean making multiple complaints up the chain of command.

Once you’ve exhausted all possible routes, and after 3-months from your last meaningful contact with the NHS, you could request that the ICO step in. We advise you do this at around the 3-month period because if you leave it any later, the ICO may turn down your request as they tend to not deal with complaints that have taken too long to be brought to their attention.

It’s important to note that while the ICO are able to investigate and issue fines to organisations for data breaches, they can’t issue compensation to victims. That’s why we advise you to have a specialist solicitor on your side. They can make a direct claim to the NHS explaining why you want to be compensated. If possible, they’ll try to settle the case amicably. However, if that’s not possible, they may advise you to let the ICO know what’s happened so that they’ll investigate as well.

If you’d like one of our specialist solicitors to represent you and claim on your behalf, please get in touch today. An advisor will assess your case and let you know if you’re eligible to claim compensation

What Could Be Claimed For Breaches Of Data Protection Laws?

We’re now going to show you what compensation might be possible in a data breach claim, how much you might be paid and whether you could be eligible to claim using a No Win No Fee service.

In general terms, you can claim for material damages which covers any financial losses suffered by the data breach, and non-material damages which aim to compensate you for psychological injuries which have been sustained.

It would be really nice to list everything you could claim for in this section but, in reality, every claim is different from the next. Therefore, we’ll only be able to give you a personalised assessment of your claim once your claim has been reviewed by a solicitor.

That’s because, in cases of financial losses, they’ll need to consider whether you’ll suffer in the long-term as well. For instance, if identity theft has left you out of pocket, it might also cause longer-term problems relating to your credit file.

In the same way, your solicitor needs to investigate—through medical professionals—what impact anxiety, stress and other psychologic injuries have had on your ability to function properly and maintain relationships with friends, family and colleagues.

From the information we’ve provided, you can no doubt see how many aspects need considering before starting a claim. It’s important that the solicitor takes the time to get things right, though, because once you agree to settle, you’re unable to ask for further compensation later on.

If you choose to let Legal Expert support your claim and it’s accepted, you’ll be connected with an experienced solicitor who will explain everything clearly to you.

To start your claim and to find out if you’re eligible to seek compensation following a data breach claim, please contact our team today.

How Much Compensation For A Breach Of The Data Protection Could I Claim?

Now it’s time to look at potential amounts of compensation that could be paid following a data breach. Some types of claim only allow you to seek compensation for personal harm and suffering if there’s been a financial impact as well. However, the Court of Appeal ruled, in the case Vidal-Hall and others v Google Inc [2015], that claims are possible even if there are no pecuniary losses. In addition, they ruled that settlements or non-material damages should be awarded based on figures in personal injury claims.

Therefore, we’ve listed some example compensation figures in the following table. The information has been extracted from a document which courts and lawyers use when settling claims called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

Injury Severity Settlement Range Detailed Information
General Psychiatric Damage Severe £51,460 to £108,620 This category will apply where the claimant’s medical prognosis is poor and they’ll have marked problems coping with life, work and education. They’ll also be vulnerable in the future and struggle to manage relationships with anybody they come into contact with.
General Psychiatric Damage Moderately Severe £17,900 to £51,460 While symptoms in this category will be similar to those listed above, the medical prognosis will be more optimistic.
General Psychiatric Damage Less Severe Up to £5,500 This category will consider how long the claimant suffered, how long their daily activities were affected and how long they struggled with sleep problems.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Severe £56,180 to £94,470 The permanent symptoms in this bracket (such as nightmares, flashbacks, suicidal ideation or hyper-arousal) will be permanent and affect the claimant’s ability to work or function at pre-trauma levels.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Moderately Severe £21,730 to £56,180 This category will involve similar symptoms to those listed in the severe category but a better prognosis will suggest some improvement with the help of professionals.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Less Severe £3,710 to £7,680 This category is used where a near full recovery from PTSD has happened within around 1 to 2-years and where any symptoms that remain are minor.

As the amount of compensation awarded is based on the severity of your injuries, your solicitor will need to make an appointment for you to attend a local medical assessment during the claims process. At the meeting, a medical specialist will discuss your suffering with you and assess the impact it has had on you. Then they’ll look at what your medical notes say. Finally, they’ll prepare a report for your solicitor to show their findings.

No Win No Fee Chelsea And Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Data Breach Claims

When it comes to making a compensation claim for a data breach, you might be concerned or worried about how much you’ll have to pay a solicitor. To reduce that worry, and to remove some financial risk, our team of solicitors offer to work on a No Win No Fee basis if they take your claim on.

The solicitor will need to check that the claim has sufficient grounds before offering a No Win No Fee solution. Once you’re both happy to start the case, you’ll receive a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which will be used to fund the case.

In the CFA, you’ll see that:

  • No upfront charges will be made.
  • You won’t have to pay for any solicitor’s fees while your claim progresses.
  • If the claim is lost, you don’t need to pay for any of your solicitor’s fees at all.

When there is a positive outcome in your case and you are compensated, a small amount of the award will be kept by your solicitor. This success fee is listed in the CFA as a percentage of your compensation so you’ll know how much it will be at the start of your claim. Also, by law, success fees are capped so you needn’t worry too much about this.

Find A GDPR Data Breach Claim Lawyer

Now that we’ve told you why you could make a Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust data breach claim, it’s time to help you find a solicitor. While you might find a suitable solicitor via a local search, by asking friends or by reading online reviews, we’ve got a method that could save you loads of time and mean you’re represented by a solicitor with experience handling all sorts of compensation claims.

Simply use the contact details in the next section and one of our advisors will assess your claim for free and, if the claim appears viable, you’ll be referred to one of our specialist solicitors who’ll be on hand throughout your case to keep you up to date and answer any queries you might have.

Talk To A Data Breach Claim Lawyer

To contact us here at Legal Expert, you can:

Medical Data Breach Resources

You’ve now completed this article regarding how to claim for a Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust data breach. To provide further support, we’ve added the following helpful links and resources:

ICO Complaints – This page shows you the different methods to use when complaining to the ICO.

Obtain Information About You – Advice from the government explaining how you can ask a company to tell you the data they have about you.

Mental Health Charities – An NHS resource which shows who you can turn to if you’re struggling with your mental health.

PTSD Claims – Advice on different scenarios which could lead to a claim following Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

London Medical Negligence Solicitors – Information on choosing a medical negligence solicitor who covers the London area.

GP Data Breach Claims – Guidance on starting a claim for harm caused by a data breach by your GP surgery.

Other Useful Compensation Guides

Guide by Hambridged

Edited by Billing

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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