A former health worker has pleaded guilty to illegally accessing the medical records of members of her ex-husband’s family in order to obtain their telephone numbers.
Juliah Kechil, a former health care assistant at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, has been fined £500 and ordered to pay £1,000 towards prosecution costs under the Data Protection Act.
Kechil accessed the medical records of the five individuals between July and November 2009. Royal Liverpool University Hospital began an investigation in November 2009 when the defendant’s father-in-law contacted the hospital after receiving nuisance calls which he suspected had been made by his former daughter-in-law.
Checks by the hospital revealed that all of the patients whose details had been compromised were not at any time under the medical care of Kechil and she had no work-related reasons to access their records. Kechil was found to have accessed the information for her own personal gain without the consent of her employer.
Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the Information Commissioner’s Office, said: “People should be able to feel confident that their personal details will be stored securely and only accessed when there is a legitimate business need. We will always push for the toughest penalties against individuals who abuse this trust.”
In April 2011 the medical history of 31 children and their mothers was lost by NHS Liverpool Community Health during a premises move in October 2010.