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  • FIRST POST
    • bcal
    • By bcal 9th Feb 18, 8:46 PM
    • 7Posts
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    bcal
    data protection?
    • #1
    • 9th Feb 18, 8:46 PM
    data protection? 9th Feb 18 at 8:46 PM
    hi there. is an employer allowed to call a hospital to check if someone is an inpatient please? if an employer does call a hospital and asks if a certain person is an inpatient, are the going against any data protection laws? this isn't about anyone in particular, just a general wondering. thank you
Page 2
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 9th Feb 18, 11:40 PM
    • 38,057 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    The employer is breaching no law by asking the question.

    I've been told which ward someone is on when I knew they were in hospital, but I've been asked for more than their name: did I know address (I did) or date of birth (I did not).
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    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 10th Feb 18, 7:34 AM
    • 3,374 Posts
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    LilElvis
    That is not relevant. The hospitals failed in respect of their duties under data protection law. The fact they did that doesn't mean they did the right thing. You could have been anyone. You could have been someone she didn't want to know. Their responsibility was to her and her protection - not to you.

    I am currently waiting for a hospital admittance. They have already asked me - who is my next of kin and who may they talk to; and how do they contact them. That is exactly what they should have done.

    Maybe it's ok by you that you can go into hospital and anyone can phone up and claim to be your sister and get private and confidential information about you without having to prove who they are. But the law doesn't agree with you that it's ok. That's the difference.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    I didn't say that I think that it is OK that information should be given out to anyone who phones and claims to be a relative. I've merely commented that, from my personal experience, this is what happens. You say that the trusts in your area wouldn't give out such information but the hospitals I've named certainly have done. One of those hospitals, last year, even went so far as to give out information regarding my MILs condition to her neighbour when she rang. I know this because the woman then called me to update me on what the consultant had just told her after he had done his morning ward round! And, yes, we were very cross that this happened, spoke to the ward and insisted that no further calls should be answered except from immediate family. On my MILs instructions we had not even told the neighbour which ward she was on, yet she managed to achieve this anyway.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 10th Feb 18, 11:51 AM
    • 2,183 Posts
    • 2,055 Thanks
    steampowered
    Asking the question is not a breach of data protection law.

    However, the employer could be in breach of data protection law if it got an answer, and tried to use that answer or keep a record of it.

    Information about someone's medical condition is 'sensitive personal data', which may only be used if the conditions sets out in Schedule 3 of the Data Protection Act 1998 are met: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/schedule/3.
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