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Max Lowry
Max Lowry, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1457
Experience:  LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
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I am a General Practitioner working as a Salaried GP. In June

Customer Question

I am a General Practitioner working as a Salaried GP. In June last year I was admitted to The Priory Hospital with depression and addiction to prescription medication.
I submitted a sick note from my own GP to my employer for 8 weeks.
I also self referred myself to the General Medical Council to inform them of my depression and drug addiction
I had been working at the practice for 10 years.
I had already tended my resignation with my period of notice due to expire 3 months later.
During my time in the Priory, the senior partner called a meeting of all the practice staff (nurses, receptionists and admin staff) to inform them that I was in The Priory being treated for drug addiction.
I feel this was a breach of confidentiality and feel it has damaged my reputation in the eyes of the staff who have known me for so long.
I was only made aware of this meeting through a telephone call from a friend in the admin department who felt I should know what had been said.
Is there anything I can do? Is it worth it? Is it too late?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Max Lowry replied 4 years ago.

Max Lowry :

Hi, welcome to Just Answer. I will help you with your question.

Max Lowry :

Yes, the information that was imparted by you them would have been in confidence.

Max Lowry :

To give this type of information out is likely to be considered to be in breach of confidence.

Max Lowry :

However, the law relating to this type of confidential information is in a state of development.

Max Lowry :

It might be that this is better pursued as misuse of personal information, breach of Art 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights type claim, but either way, you can take action in relation to it.

Max Lowry :

Obviously, you cannot force people to un-hear what was heard, but you should be able to seek damages against the employer for breaching confidence in the way that it has.

Max Lowry :

The problem with these things is working out how much damages.

Max Lowry :

As you have no obvious financial loss.

Max Lowry :

So, the Court would have to award damages sufficient to recognise a breach of the duty of confidence, perhaps £1,000 or so. It would be entirely in the Court's discretion.

Max Lowry :

Does this answer your question?

JACUSTOMER-kebdnhun- : How would be the best way to go about this? What would be the costs involved?
Max Lowry :

Always best to get a solicitor to write to them insisting damages be paid, and asking for their proposals. If they fails to negotiate a settlement that you can live with, then you could issue proceedings.

Max Lowry :

If you don't use a solicitor, then you would be able to do this yourself, although because of the legal complexities, I wouldn't advise it.

Max Lowry :

I reckon you'd probably pay £500 or so for initial advice, and for drafting a letter of claim. It then depends how long it goes on after that - but phone around some solicitors and get quote from them, all have different rates.

Max Lowry :

I hope this answers your question. If you need further information, just let me know. Please do remember to rate my answer as highly as you can.

Max Lowry :

Is there anything specific you'd like to raise with me on this?

Max Lowry :

I hope this answers your question. If you need further information, just let me know. Please do remember to rate my answer as highly as you can.