Advertisement

Three London Clinic staff members under investigation over Kate data breach claim

The hospital at the centre of claims staff attempted to access the Princess of Wales's private medical records has vowed "all appropriate investigatory, regulatory and disciplinary steps will be taken".

The chief executive of the London Clinic released a statement on Wednesday after the data protection watchdog revealed it is assessing a report on the claims.

There are three members of staff being investigated for allegedly trying to access royal medical records, ITV News reported on Wednesday evening.

They are facing disciplinary action following a potential breach of data at The London Clinic which treated both the Princess of Wales and King Charles in January. The King’s personal data was not compromised, it is understood.

Kate has been told about the potential data breach, ITV reports.

On Tuesday evening the Mirror said at least one member of staff reportedly tried to access Kate’s notes after she was admitted for abdominal surgery at the private hospital based in Marylebone.

Details of Kate’s condition have not been disclosed but Kensington Palace previously said it was not cancer-related and that the princess wished for her personal medical information to remain private.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said it had received a breach report.

A spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we have received a breach report and are assessing the information provided.”

The hospital is said to have launched an urgent investigation, with a spokesperson saying: “We firmly believe that all our patients, no matter their status, deserve total privacy and confidentiality regarding their medical information.”

 (Evening Standard)
(Evening Standard)

Meanwhile, insiders at the hospital said staff had been “left utterly shocked and distraught” that a “trusted colleague” could have carried out such a “breach of trust and ethics.”

The London Clinic's chief executive, Al Russell, said on Wednesday: "Everyone at the London Clinic is acutely aware of our individual, professional, ethical and legal duties with regards to patient confidentiality.

"We take enormous pride in the outstanding care and discretion we aim to deliver for all our patients that put their trust in us every day.

"We have systems in place to monitor management of patient information and, in the case of any breach, all appropriate investigatory, regulatory and disciplinary steps will be taken.

"There is no place at our hospital for those who intentionally breach the trust of any of our patients or colleagues."

The Princess is said to be aware of the allegations, while a spokesperson for Kensington Palace said: “This is a matter for the London Clinic.”

Health minister Maria Caulfield, who worked as a nurse for many years, told LBC radio that the claims could result in enforcement action.

“I say this as someone who’s still on the nursing register, that the rules are very, very clear for all patients.

“That unless you’re looking after that patient, or unless they’ve given you their consent, you should not be looking at patients’ notes.

“So there are rules in place and the Information Commissioner can levy fines, that can be prosecutions, your regulator, so as a nurse my regulator would be the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council), can take enforcement action,” she said.

Asked if the police should look into the matter, she said: “My understanding is that police have been asked to look at it - whether they take action is a matter for them.

“But the Information Commissioner can also take prosecutions, can also issue fines, the NMC, other health regulators can strike you off the register if the breach is serious enough.

“So there are particularly hefty implications if you are looking at notes for medical records that you should not be looking at.”

A police spokesperson said: “We are not aware of any referral to the Metropolitan Police at this time.”

Kate’s absence from public life after her surgery has led to wild conspiracy theories on social media about her whereabouts and health.

There were were compounded when irregularities were spotted in a Mother’s Day photograph of the princess with her children, which led to Kate admitting to “editing” the image and apologising for any “confusion” caused.

The future Queen has been photographed in public three since her operation.

Footage emerged of Kate out shopping with the Prince of Wales at the weekend at the Windsor Farm Shop close to their Adelaide Cottage home in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

She was also spotted sitting next to William in a chauffeur-driven car a week last Monday, when he attended the Commonwealth Day service in London and she was driven to a private appointment.

In a picture published on March 4, she was a front seat passenger in a car driven by her mother, Carole Middleton, in the Windsor area.

It was reported at the weekend Kate may speak about her health during public engagements which are not expected to resume until after Easter.

It comes as the Queen continues to step in for the King since his cancer diagnosis with her royal duties taking her to the Isle of Man today where she was set to officially declare the island’s capital a city.

Douglas was awarded city status in 2022 as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and the Queen Consort will sign the Letters Patent at City Hall and meet a variety of local groups, charities, and dignitaries.