How Do GP Data Breach Claims Work?

This guide will explain how a GP data breach can occur and what steps you can take to start the claims process. If you’ve suffered harm due to wrongful positive conduct on the part of a GP surgery, you may be eligible for compensation. In this article, we will discuss what makes a valid personal data breach claim and what legislation protects the personal data of UK residents.

GP data breach

GP data breach claims guide

 This guide will also address the definition of a personal data breach, as well as what types of data a GP surgery may store and process.

We will also discuss compensation and how legal professionals such as solicitors and judges assign value to personal data breach claims.

Our advisors are available to answer any questions you have about a GP data breach claim. You can reach us through the following details:

Choose A Section

  1. What is a Data Breach?
  2. GP Data Breach – Potential Examples
  3. What Do I Do After a GP Data Breach?
  4. Data Breach Payout – Potential Compensation Figures
  5. No Win No Fee Solicitors – How Can They Help?
  6. Learn More About Claiming For a GP Data Breach

What is a Data Breach?

A personal data breach is a security incident leading to the destruction, loss, disclosure, alteration or access to your personal data. Any information that identifies you can class as personal data. For example, your home address, phone number, or email address.

The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) have been put in place to ensure that any organisation that handles the data of UK residents can be held accountable. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent organisation that enforces these laws.

A GP surgery could act as both a data controller and a data processor. Data controllers are organisations that decide how your personal data is used, whereas data processors process the data on the data controller’s behalf.

However, not all cases of a data breach will become valid claims. Data protection legislation states that in order to be eligible to claim:

  • The breach must cause you harm
  • The breach must occur due to the organisation’s wrongful conduct
  • The breach must involve your personal data

To find out if you could be eligible to make a GP data breach claim, contact our advisors today.

GP Data Breach – Potential Examples

A GP surgery may collect, store and process many kinds of personal data, including special category data. This is a type of personal data that is given extra protection due to its sensitive nature. Special category data can include:

  • Health data — This includes your medical records, and information about your medical conditions
  • Data regarding your racial or ethnic origin
  • Data that refers to your sexuality

Here are some examples of how a breach could occur in a GP surgery:

  • A receptionist leaves your medical files on their desk unattended. This could allow unauthorised third parties access to your health data.
  • Your GP incorrectly faxes your prescription details to the wrong address when they should have gone to your pharmacist.
  • An email containing personal data, such as information about an appointment or blood test results, is sent to the wrong email address, despite having your correct address on file.

These are just a few examples of how a GP surgery data breach could occur. To learn more, contact our team of advisors today.

What Do I Do After a GP Data Breach?

If your data is breached in a way that poses a risk to your freedoms or rights, the organisation has 72 hours to inform the ICO. Similarly, they have to inform you of the breach without undue delay. 

However, you may discover a breach yourself. In this case, you can complain to the GP surgery directly and ask for more information. However, if you do not receive a response within three months, or if the response you receive is unsatisfactory, you can make a complaint to the ICO.

Please note that you cannot claim data breach compensation through the ICO. However, it may choose to investigate the breach and has the power to fine the organisation if it finds evidence of wrongful conduct. 

It is also advised to gather as much evidence as you can to support your claim. You could use:

  • Copies of letters or emails confirming the data breach
  • Medical reports that show the symptoms of psychological injuries caused by the data breach.
  • Bank statements highlighting the money that was stolen from your accounts.

See below for more information on claiming GP data breach compensation.

Data Breach Payout – Potential Compensation Figures

Non-material damage includes any psychological injury you sustained from the data breach. This could include:

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) supply examples of non-material damage compensation brackets that are used by legal professionals to value data breach claims. The compensation table below highlights some of these figures, but we must stress that these are only guidelines. 

Severe Psychological Damage (a)£54,830 - £115,730Problems occur with the injured person's capacity to manage education, work and life as a whole.
Moderately Severe Psychological Damage (b)£19,070 - £54,830Disabilities prevent a full return to work. Injuries affect the ability to interact with others and uphold relationships.
Moderate Psychological Damage (c)£5,860 - £19,070Problems are associated with maintaining relationships and managing life overall, though the overall prognosis is improved.
Less Severe Psychological Damage (d)£1,540 - £5,860Minor physical symptoms may continue to affect the injured personal ability to sleep and attend to daily tasks.
Severe PTSD (a)£59,860 - £100,670Permanent disabilities prevent the injured person from working at all, poorly affecting all aspects of life.
Moderately Severe PTSD (b)£23,150 - £59,860Significant disabilities persist into the future, though symptoms may improve with professional treatment, prompting a good prognosis.
Moderate PTSD (c)£8,180 - £23,150Most injuries are recovered from with some continuing effects that aren’t highly disabling.
Less Severe PTSD (d)£3,950 - £8,180Minor symptoms may persist past recovery, which can be achieved within two years.

For a full estimate of what your GP data breach claim could be worth, you can call our advisors today.

GP Data Breach – What Other Compensation Could I Receive?

You can also claim material damage, which compensates you for financial losses sustained from the breach of your personal data. This could occur if a criminal steals your bank details through a GP data breach and uses them to withdraw large sums of money from your accounts. These losses could also cause a negative impact on your credit score, preventing you from making important purchases in the future.

Similarly to non-material damage, you must also provide evidence in order to claim material damage, which can include bank statements and receipts. If you need more information about making a valid claim, you can speak to our advisors today. 

No Win No Fee Solicitors – How Can They Help? 

Similarly to Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA), No Win No Fee agreements provide you with legal representation, generally without having to pay any fees upfront or for the duration of the claim. 

On the other hand, if you’re successful in gaining compensation at the end of your claim, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your settlement total. However, if your claim is unsuccessful, you will also not be asked to pay your solicitor for their services.

Our advisors can connect you with a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor from our panel to support you in your GP data breach claim if your claim is valid. See how you can reach us below. 

Contact Us For Free Legal Advice

For expert legal advice and to learn more about connecting with a No Win No Fee solicitor to start the claims process, contact us using the following information:

Learn More About Making A GP Data Breach

You can learn more about data breaches with these external resources:

Alternatively, you can visit more of our guides here:

If you have any further questions about making a GP data breach claim, please contact our advisors.

Writer Jess Allen

Publisher Cat Harley