Sexual Health Clinic Data Breach Claims
Are you considering a sexual health clinic data breach claim? Did an NHS or private healthcare clinic fail to adequately safeguard your patient notes or details about your treatment? Sexual health data is extremely private and confidential. Both the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) set rules and regulations in order to keep this data safe and secure. It is considered special category data. This means this type of information must have added protection.
You could have grounds to seek compensation if you were adversely impacted by a security incident in this way. A sexual health clinic data breach claim needs to show how the incident was permitted by the clinic and how you were harmed because of it.
So, if your data has been breached and you’re asking what can I do? This guide explains. As you read the sections below please feel free to discuss your claim in person by:
- Calling our confidential and sympathetic advisors on 0800 073 8804
- Requesting a callback when you contact us
- Or using the ‘live support’ option for immediate help
Select A Section
- What Is A Sexual Health Clinic Data Breach Claim?
- What Patient Data Could Sexual Health Clinics Hold?
- Examples Of Sexual Health Clinic Data Breaches
- How To Make A Sexual Health Clinic Data Breach Claim
- Sexual Health Clinic Data Breach Claim Calculator
- Contact Us To Start Your Claim Today
Sexual health clinics are subject to the Data Protection Act 2018 and its supporting legislation in the UK GDPR. These laws require all data controllers or any processors i.e. organisations who handle personal data to do so with a greater emphasis on avoiding a data breach security incident. This could be:
- Personal data accessed by a third party not authorised
- Emailed or posted medical results to the wrong recipient
- The loss or theft of computing devices containing personal data
- Data altered in a security incident
- Data lost in some way (unauthorised destruction, for example)
With this in mind, fundamental at the start of a sexual health clinic data breach claim is the ability to show how the clinic (or any member of its staff) failed to apply their legal obligation to data protection, but also that you suffered actual financial or emotional harm as a consequence. Medical conditions data breach claims may be eligible, but not all data breaches are the direct fault of the data controller or grounds to sue. Speak with our team to find out more.
Sexual health clinics retain a wide cross-section of information about their clients. Some of this personal data is more sensitive than others. Special category data includes data that pertains to the past, present, or future health details of the data subject, which includes test results. But a security incident can arise from a leak of any of the following:
- Name and address
- Email address or social media accounts
- Racial or ethnic background
- Sexual orientation
- Religious or political beliefs
- Credit card or debit card details
- Biometric or genetic details
- Health data
In some cases, the information could relate to complex conditions or a sexual health status that has the potential to be extremely damaging if accidentally or deliberately breached.
An independent body called the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) upholds data protection rights. They require every agency, business, and organisation that deals with personal data to adhere to UK GDPR data handling rules.
If a company has mis-used personal data, the ICO can investigate and fine them, but prevention of data breaches in the first place is preferable. To simplify this task, there are 7 Core Principles from the legislation, stating that data use should be:
- Lawful, fair, and transparent
- Limited in purpose
- Limited in the amount collected
- That data records are accurate and kept up to date
- Kept for as long as needed
- Protected at every level
- That every concerned party takes personal responsibility to apply these principles at all times.
With this in mind, a sexual health clinic data breach claim could be valid when you can prove that staff failed to appropriately handle personal data like this. Some scenarios:
- A member of staff leaves a laptop screen or a paper document visibly on show
- Indiscrete verbal disclosures or conversations leak details
- Sending a fax to the wrong person
- Documents and test results shared with unauthorised people
- Data stored in an unsecured location (a car or at the home of a clinician)
- Human error involving lost or stolen paperwork security breaches
Sexual Health Clinic Data Breach
In 2015, an NHS trust was fined £180,000 by the ICO after details leaked concerning 800 patients who attended an HIV clinic. A mass email was sent out and instead of using the Bcc field, all recipients could see the email addresses of those who had received the email. The ICO described it as a ‘serious breach of the law’. 56 Dean Street is run by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Details of sexual health conditions and test results for sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) are very private information. If you have suffered a data breach because a sexual health clinic failed to adhere to data protection laws you may find the following checklist useful if you are thinking of making a personal data breach claim:
- Confirm as best you can that the clinic breached data protection law which resulted in financial or emotional harm to you
- Complain to the clinic. Wait no longer than 3 months since the last meaningful contact with the clinic if you want to make a complaint to the ICO.
- Complain to the ICO.
- Collect proof of associated costs and expenses caused to you.
- Always seek medical advice if you have suffered with your mental health because of the breach.
- Use our compensation calculator
- Connect with legal representation to help with all these things.
There are two types of damages that can be calculated in data breach cases. Material damages look at the financial losses that can be proved with documents like receipts or invoices. So retain all proof that shows how you needed to pay money out to deal with the repercussions of the data breach. This could include:
- Proof of loss of earnings
- Relocation costs if the stigma attached to the data breached was very severe (an HIV result becoming common knowledge in a hostile community for example)
- Counselling costs to deal with the stress
- Damage to your business reputation
In a High Court Appeal case, Vidal-Hall v Google a precedent was set so that non-material damages can be claimed for even when no financial losses have been experienced. Our chart shows brackets amount taken from the Guidelines which are set by the Judicial College. The very same guidelines are used by legal professionals for valuing injuries :
|Type of Psychiatric Injury||Severity and Judicial College Guideline Award Bracket||Supporting Notes|
|Psychiatric Damage - General||(A) Severe Levels - £54,830 to £115,730||Poor future prognosis and permanently disabling issues|
|Psychiatric Damage - General||(B) Moderately Severe Level - £19,070 to £54,830||A more favourable prognosis than above but still indicative of a long-standing issue|
|Psychiatric Damage - General||(C) Moderate Level - £5,860 to £19,070||Some improvements seen or expected by the time the case is heard|
|Psychiatric Damage - General||(D) Less Severe Levels - £1,540 to £5,860||Reflects the period of disability and the extent to which issues impacted sleep or created a phobia|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||(A) Severe Levels - £59,860 to £100,670||Permanent trauma effects that impact every area of the person's life|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||(B) Moderately Severe Levels - £23,150 to £59,860||Improved circumstances than the above bracket thanks to professional intervention|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||(C) Moderate Levels - £8,180 to £23,150||A recovery with no grossly disabling effects left|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||(D) Less Severe Levels - £3,950 to £8,180||Within 1 - 2 years a full recovery and only minor remaining issues|
If you would like help to calculate how much your sexual health clinic data breach claim can be worth, speak to our team today. At Legal Expert, all our data breach specialists offer No Win No Fee agreements. The benefits to this are that:
- There are no fees to pay at the start
- No fees are needed as the case moves ahead
- No fees at all are due to your solicitors in an unsuccessful claim
A successful outcome means that a maximum deduction from the settlement becomes due. Capped by law at 25%, it ensures you always receive the majority of your compensation whilst your solicitors receive a success fee. Learn more about how No Win No Fee can work for you by:
- Calling our advisors on 0800 073 8804
- Contact us and request a callback online
- Or using the ‘live support’ option below
Further Help And Support
As well as sexual health clinic data breach claims, Legal Expert can also help with:
- Details on claiming compensation after being sexually abused by an ex-partner
- More advice about medical records data breach
- FAQ’s about making a data breach claim if medical records have been stolen or lost