If you’ve suffered from a GP data breach, you may be interested in seeking compensation. This guide will explain when you might be eligible to do so and the steps you can take after your personal information has been affected by a breach of data protection.
A breach of personal data can result in financial loss and psychological harm. However, if you’re eligible you may receive compensation that accounts for the ways in which the data breach has impacted your life. We will explore this further in our guide.
Additionally, we will discuss the responsibility a data controller and data processor has to protect your personal information. A data controller decides on the purpose for processing your personal data and can sometimes process it themselves. A data processor acts on behalf of the controller. They each need to adhere to data protection law which we will explore further in our guide.
We will also highlight the benefits of working with No Win No Fee data breach solicitors from our panel who could represent your claim. To learn more, continue reading. Alternatively, you can contact our advisors. To get in touch you can:
- Call us at 0800 408 7827
- Fill out the contact us page on our website
- Message us through the live chat feature below
Select a Section
- What Is A GP Data Breach?
- GP Data Breach Examples
- GP Data Breach – Am I Eligible To Make A Claim?
- Data Breach Compensation – Payout Examples
- Get Help From No Win No Fee Solicitors
- Learn More About GP Data Breaches
Organisations, such as GP surgeries, have a responsibility as a data controller to protect your personal information. The legislation in place to keep your personal data safe includes the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). These work together to set out the responsibility both data controllers and processors have.
If they breach data protection law, it could result in a personal data breach occurring. This involves a security incident that causes your personal data to be unlawfully or accidentally destroyed, lost or altered. It can also cause your personal data to be disclosed or accessed without authorisation.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is an independent UK body that upholds data protection laws, can investigate security incidents and take enforcement action against organisations who have breached data protection law.
Additionally, if your personal data is compromised as a result of an organisation’s failings and you are caused financial loss or psychological harm, you may be eligible to seek compensation. Call us to find out whether you’re eligible to claim after a GP data breach.
Both digital and physical data is covered under data protection legislation. Data breaches can take place when criminals hack into company databases or break into a business to steal personal information. Your details can then be used by these criminals to commit identity fraud or steal money from your bank accounts.
Another way data breaches could occur is through human error. In a GP surgery, this may happen if staff are not trained on how to handle personal data to comply with data protection laws. Other examples of how a human error GP data breach could occur include:
- Sending medical records to the wrong email address
- Posting important files to the wrong postal address
- Verbal disclosure about a medical condition you’re being treated for between a GP and another member of staff
Personal data is information that can be used to identify you. The personal data that a GP surgery would hold for you can include your name, address, email address and phone number. Additionally, they may also hold special category data which is classified as needing more protection under the UK GDPR because it’s more sensitive, such as information relating to your trade union membership. More specifically to a GP surgery, it can include information relating to your health, such as information about medical conditions, racial or ethnic origin and sexual orientation.
If this personal information is compromised, it could have an impact on your mental well being. Additionally, if you have needed to take time off due to the way the breach has affected you psychologically, you may lose out on earnings. Call us to find out whether you could claim for the ways a GP data breach has affected you.
Statistics On Data Breaches
Alongside taking enforcement action, the ICO provides statistics on the current data security incident trends.
As per the trends, it was found that from January 2022 to March 2022, a total of 427 cyber and non-cyber security incidents occurred in the health sector.
There are certain criteria that must be met in order for you to seek compensation. Firstly, you must prove that an organisation’s failings caused your personal data to become compromised. You must also prove that you sustained mental harm or financial loss as a result. Evidence can help support your claim such as:
- Communication between you and the organisation: An organisation must notify you of the personal data breach if it has affected your rights and freedoms without undue delay. As such, you can provide copies of emails and letters from the organisation to support your claim.
- Findings from an ICO report: An organisation must also report the personal data breach to the ICO within 72 hours if it meets the relevant criteria for needing to be reported. The ICO may investigate the breach and any findings from their investigation can be used to support your claim.
You can also report a data breach to the ICO if you have not received an adequate response from the organisation after getting in touch with them. However, you cannot make a claim for data breach compensation through the ICO. Instead, you can speak to our advisors for assistance with starting a GP data breach claim.
When seeking a settlement, you could receive compensation for:
- Material damage: This accounts for financial losses caused by the personal data breach. This can include loss of earnings. For example, if you have needed to take time off work due to suffering anxiety as a result of the data breach.
- Non-material damage: This accounts for psychological injuries sustained due to the personal data breach. For example, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and emotional distress.
We’ve included a table that contains compensation brackets for different types of mental harm. This information is from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which is a document used by legal professionals to value the non-material damage head of claim.
|Severe Psychiatric Damage (a)||£54,830 - £115,730||Problems occur with the injured person’s ability to manage life. The prognosis is poor, and future vulnerability is present.|
|Moderately Severe Psychiatric Damage (b)||£19,070 - £54,830||There is an impact on relationships and other areas of the person's life. The prognosis will be more optimistic though.|
|Moderate Psychiatric Damage (c)||£5,860 - £19,070||The prognosis is good and improvement will have been made.|
|Less Severe Psychiatric Damage (d)||£1,540 - £5,860||The award given will consider for how long and how badly the person has been affected.|
|Severe PTSD (a)||£59,860 - £100,670||Permanent issues are caused, badly affecting all aspects of the person's life.|
|Moderately Severe PTSD (b)||£23,150 - £59,860||Professional assistance can help with recovery and give a better prognosis.|
|Moderate PTSD (c)||£8,180 - £23,150||The person will have largely recovered. There may be some ongoing effects but they won't be hugely disabling.|
|Less Severe PTSD (d)||£3,950 - £8,180||The person will have made a mostly full recovery within a couple of years.|
Please be advised that these figures are a guideline. If you require a more accurate estimate of what your GP data breach claim may be worth, please reach out to our advisors today.
A Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), is a type of No Win No Fee agreement. Generally, under a CFA, you aren’t required to pay for the services your solicitor provides you upfront or if your claim is unsuccessful.
If your claim is successful, you will need to pay a success fee from your compensation. However, the success fee is subject to a legal cap.
The solicitors from our panel can offer to represent your claim on this basis. To learn more about connecting with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel or if you have any remaining questions about your potential GP data breach claim, please contact us today. You can get in touch by:
- Calling 0800 408 7827
- Connecting with an advisor through the live chat
- Filling out the contact form on our website.
Below, we have provided some additional resources that you may find helpful.
- GOV – Data protection
- ICO – What are controllers and processors?
- NCSC – Guidance for data breaches
- A guide to claiming compensation after a police data breach
- Estimating compensation for children in care data breach claims
- HR data breach
Thank you for reading our guide exploring when you might be eligible to claim after a GP data breach. If you have any other questions, get in touch on the number above.
Writer Jess Arrow
Editor Meg Moon