May 18, 2024

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Investigation into medical records breach, statement issued by the London Clinic

Investigation into medical records breach, statement issued by the London Clinic

LONDON – Britain's data watchdog has launched an investigation after a report that staff at the specialist hospital where Kate, Princess of Wales, underwent surgery tried to access her medical records.

Kate, 42, was the subject of intrigue and conspiracy theories around the world after she underwent unspecified abdominal surgery at a London clinic, used by royals and celebrities, in January. For some, the mystery appeared to be solved this week after a video surfaced of her and William, Prince of Wales, shopping near their home in Windsor.

But Tuesday The British newspaper The Mirror reported That the clinic was investigating an allegation that at least one employee tried to access her records while she was a patient at the world-famous institution.

The Information Commissioner's Office said in a statement to NBC News on Wednesday that it “received a report of the breach” and is “evaluating the information provided.”

“Everyone at the London Clinic is fully aware of our individual, professional, ethical and legal duties regarding patient confidentiality,” London Clinic CEO Al Russell said in a statement on Wednesday.

Citing “recent media coverage”, he added that the hospital, which also treated King Charles III, had “systems in place to monitor the management of patient information and, in the event of any breach, all appropriate investigative, regulatory and disciplinary steps will be taken”. taken. “There is no place in our hospital for those who would intentionally violate the trust of any of our patients or colleagues.”

Kensington Palace told Reuters news agency that the matter was “a matter for the London Clinic.”

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British Health Minister Maria Caulfield described the allegations as “extremely serious” and said that “accessing notes for which you do not have permission is dangerous.”

She said in an interview with Sky News: “From a health perspective, it is not acceptable to look at people’s comments, but this has been monitored and the necessary measures have been taken.”

Asked about the breach report received by the Information Commissioner's Office, a London Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “We are not aware of any referral to the Metropolitan Police at this time.”

It's the latest twist in a royal saga that refuses to go away.

The palace announced last January that Kate would take more than two months off after undergoing unspecified abdominal surgery.

But she has become the subject of an entire ecosystem of speculation and conspiracy theories that fill the void of details that she and William have sought to keep private about the situation.

Little information was provided about Kate's surgery or her health, while a poorly doctored family photo published by major news outlets fueled royal rumours.

Some have criticized the level of speculation, and even interest and coverage itself, in this royal series. But the story also speaks to fundamental tensions between the palace, the press and the public over transparency and accountability.

The conservative-dominated British press was largely sympathetic to the family. These newspapers condemned the social media masses speculating on Kate's health – while at the same time fueling the story by giving it blanket coverage.

Chief among them is The Sun, a right-wing tabloid and one of the country's best-selling newspapers, which this week published a video that it said showed Kate and William shopping. The footage was captured by an engineer named Nelson Silva, who told the newspaper that his video should put to rest rumors about Kate's whereabouts and condition.

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“I'm not too shocked that these comments are continuing, I'm just confused about how they're continuing,” he said of the conspiracy theories, in which some people have suggested the person in the video is not Kate. “Here's a video that clearly shows her with William. I saw them with my own eyes. It was completely relaxed.”