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FOUND GUILTY: Pinner call centre advisor illegally accessed patient records

 Published on: 13th March 2023   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A former 111 call centre advisor from Pinner has been found guilty of illegally accessing the medical records of a child and their family.

Martin Swan, 56, worked as a service advisor at the NHS 111 call centre in Southall when he illegally accessed the records.

A complaint had been raised against Swan, following a disagreement during a 111 call over the distance to a medical centre. This prompted him to access the records of the complainant, the complainant’s child and two other relatives.

Swan accessed the personal records without consent or a legal reason to do so and produced screenshots of the child’s patient notes at an internal investigation meeting in June 2016. He proceeded to contact the father with accusations of falsifying events and was dismissed for gross misconduct in November 2016. He contacted the father once again in January 2017 and threatened to report him for neglect.

When Swan failed to attend the initial hearing in April 2018, a warrant was issued for his arrest. He surrendered to the warrant in January 2023 and appeared before Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on February 15.

Following the investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Swan pleaded guilty to five counts of unlawfully obtaining personal data in breach of Section 55 of the Data Protection Act. He was fined £630, with a victim surcharge and court costs totalling £1,093.

Andy Curry, head of investigations at the ICO, said: “When seeking medical help, people should never have to think twice about how their information is handled and whether their patient records are secure.

“The NHS 111 helpline offers a valuable service and people need to trust that the handlers operating this service are being responsible with the details provided.

“This case shows that the ICO will take action when personal records are accessed unlawfully. These actions seriously jeopardised the trust built between the service and its users.”

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