Wednesday, 23 November, 2011
A man from Devon has had a claim for nursing negligence upheld after his private medical records were unlawfully accessed and disclosed, resulting in the exacerbation of an existing psychological complaint
Sean Robert Grinyer from Plymouth, Devon, claimed in his action against the Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust, that the actions of a former partner – who was employed at the hospital as a nurse when the offence occurred in December 2007 – had led to a worsening of his paranoid personality disorder.
He also claimed that Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust had failed to handle his complaint about the issue in an acceptable manner, leading to a further deterioration in his mental health, with the consequence that he had been unable to accept an offer of temporary employment.
Judge Cotter QC, sitting at Plymouth County Court, heard legal counsel argue that the unauthorised disclosure of Mr Grinyer´s private medical records was in breach of Section 13 of the Data Protection Act 1998 and constituted nursing negligence on behalf of Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust.
After hearing medical testimony relating to the deterioration in Mr Grinyer´s condition, Judge Cotter QC ruled that a personal injury had occurred due to negligence and awarded the claimant 12,500 Pounds in nursing negligence compensation, along with a further 4,800 Pounds in respect of Mr Grinyer´s loss of income.