Former NHS Employee Guilty of Illegally Accessing 150+ Patient Records

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) disclosed the conviction of Loretta Alborghetti, a former NHS medical secretary, found guilty of unlawfully accessing over 150 patient records within the ophthalmology department at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

Andy Curry, head of ICO investigations, emphasized the severity of breaching individuals’ trust in safeguarding sensitive medical data, stating that accessing personal information without legal entitlement is unacceptable.

The investigation stemmed from a patient complaint in June 2019, leading to the revelation that Alborghetti accessed records 33 times without consent or a valid business necessity between March and June 2019. Shockingly, she accessed these records over 1800 times within three months, including records of individuals not linked to ophthalmology, even extending to family members and neighbors.

Despite her role allowing access to patient information, the accessed records were unrelated to her responsibilities, breaching data protection laws under Section 170 of the Data Protection Act 2018. Alborghetti pleaded guilty before Worcester Magistrates’ Court and was fined £648 (~$800).

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