Hospital Staff May Have Fallen into Decoy Trap Set by Managers During Princess of Wales Medical Records Breach

Hospital Staff May Have Fallen into Decoy Trap Set by Managers During Princess of Wales Medical Records Breach

Experts believe that staff at the prestigious hospital involved in the data breach concerning the Princess of Wales’s private medical records may have fallen into a ‘decoy’ trap set by managers.

Ongoing Investigation at The London Clinic

Three months after the incident, The London Clinic remains under investigation. Despite Health Minister Maria Caulfield’s statement in March that the police had been asked to look into it, the case has not yet been referred to Scotland Yard.

Probe Initiated by Hospital Bosses

The hospital initiated an investigation after allegations that at least one staff member attempted to access Kate’s personal details following her planned abdominal surgery in January.

Legal Implications of Unauthorized Access

Accessing a patient’s medical records without the consent of the organization’s data controller is a criminal offense for any NHS or private healthcare staff.

Decoy Tactics Used for VIP Patients

Data specialists suggest that if a breach occurred, it might have been detected through a ‘decoy’ tactic. Hospitals with high-profile clients often store health data in a file under a fake name, creating a decoy file under the real name with false information to monitor unauthorized access.

Slow Investigation Process

Hospitals must launch their own inquiries while the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) investigates management practices, a process known for being slow.

Expert Opinions on Data Breaches

Sam Smith of MedConfidential expressed disappointment over the lack of updates three months on, noting that data breaches are common and proving them is rare and slow. Tom Llewellyn, a commercial litigation and data protection partner at Ashfords law firm, mentioned that it might take years for action to be taken against individuals involved.

Previous Cases of Data Breaches

Last year, a former NHS secretary was fined for accessing the records of over 150 patients four years after the breaches. Recently, a hospital doctor was struck off three years after accessing the health data of a woman he met on a dating app in 2021.

No Update from The London Clinic

The London Clinic has not provided an update since the suspected breach of the Princess of Wales’s health data was reported.

ICO’s Statement on Investigation

The ICO stated that investigations into data breaches are complex and require adequate time, and updates will not be provided until the investigation concludes.

Met Police and Kensington Palace Comments

The Met Police confirmed they were not aware of any referral about the breach. Kensington Palace stated that this matter is for The London Clinic.