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Max Lowry
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Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1457
Experience:  LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
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How to take legal action against your local GP practice? If

Resolved Question:

How to take legal action against your local GP practice? If you suspect medical information has been leaked out into the public domain? But you have no hard proof accept that there could be no other way this information has leaked out?
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 :

Was this some personal medical confidential information, that's only likely to come from the GP?

Max Lowry :

Hello!

Customer:

Hello, sorry where are you based?

Max Lowry :

In the UK.

Customer:

what part sorry I know this seems intrusive but if its in the same town as me, I'd feel a bit uncomfortable talking about this

Max Lowry :

I'm London.

Customer:

oh ok

Customer:

so going back to your question you are right it can only come from my gp

Max Lowry :

Please don't give personal medical details - I was only asking the type of information - that's all.

Customer:

so what can I do?

Max Lowry :

OKay.

Max Lowry :

Then, you have a couple of options.

Max Lowry :

1. You could complain to the GP's regulatory body;

Customer:

nhs

Max Lowry :

2. You could issue proceedings in the Court for breach of trust and/or confidentiality issues;

Max Lowry :

3. Go through their internal complaints procedure.

Max Lowry :

You should do 3 anyway, in most cases, as this might get a resolution you want. It might not, but then you still have options 1 and 2.

Customer:

ok sounds clear enough. What sort of evidence do I need or how do I go about building a case? what do I even say?

Customer:

its very much viral in the town I live now causing me alot of harrassment

Max Lowry :

The key thing is to who:

Max Lowry :

1. That somebody else knows the information;

Max Lowry :

2. The information was only known by the GP (or limited others);

Max Lowry :

3. that the information has most probably been leaked from the GP.

Max Lowry :

So how you do that depends on the nature of the information etc., and who knows what.

Max Lowry :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

I guess so. How do you go about asking people who knows what etc?

Customer:

Do I need several people to come forward and make a written statement

Customer:

that they have heard this

Max Lowry :

Well, this all depends on the nature of the info, which I know nothing about, but the best way often is to get a written statement from they saying how they know things, who told them, that they didn't know it before etc.

Customer:

would it cause complications if you told one person and only one person but she can vouch she never told anyone

Customer:

so it must fall with the gp

Max Lowry :

Yes, that's a reasonable inference. Of course, it's going to come down to who the Court believes I expect - as you'll have the GP saying "I didn't tell anybody" and you'd have the other one person saying "I didn't tell anybody". And so, it becomes a little difficult, but equally, the Court needs to decide who is likely to have said the thing complained of. So if you can convince the Court that the one person wouldn't have revealed it, then you stand more prospect of showing it was the GP.

Customer:

that sounds impossible to be honest how can you prove if they deny. The one flaw with the gp is that, there is more possibility the info could have leaked, through several gp's I have seen, even receptionists who could have picked up a medical note

Max Lowry :

You don't have to prove like in a criminal court - it's a balance of probability test. So if you can show 51% likely to have been the GP - then you win. That's the big difference between civil/criminal courts.

Max Lowry :

Yes, and if it leaked through the receptionist, the GP is still liable in law, as they're his/her employees.

Customer:

hmm do you know what information pharmacists have?

Max Lowry :

I don't, sorry.

Customer:

Just thinking if this could be a way it leaked out too which could complicate things

Customer:

or would it be two potential cases then?

Max Lowry :

Yes, I see your point - you should investigate what info they get.

Max Lowry :

You could have two potential defendants if they both leaked it.

Customer:

therefore raising their probability?

Max Lowry :

Raising probability? Not sure what you mean?

Customer:

Sorry just referring to what you were saying about I only have to get 51% on my side to win a case

Customer:

just trying to work out if this is to my advantage or not

Max Lowry :

Its a percentage probability that applies to each defendant separately.

Max Lowry :

So, 51% doctor or 51% pharmacist - you win against both.

Max Lowry :

51% doc, 49% pharmacist - you win against doctor, lose against pharmacist.

Customer:

ok

Customer:

do you think I should try

Customer:

my life has been turned upside down because of this

Customer:

I feel strongly that someone has to take responsibility

Customer:

It seems we got interrupted

Max Lowry :

This is up to you - I don't know how it makes you feel etc.

Max Lowry :

We didd - sorry, internet connection problem.

Customer:

If the police was involved to backup how strong informaton about me is in the public domain would this strengthen my case

Max Lowry :

The more evidence you get including from the police, the better your claim should be - assuming it's quality evidence obviously.

Max Lowry :

Evidence from the police is often good quality, so yes, it might help.

Customer:

well it just demonstrates how many people know and how it has out my life at risk

Max Lowry :

Well, then the police might be a good starting point for you.

Customer:

do you think?

Max Lowry :

Maybe - again, I don't know anything about your background etc., and this site is public, so I appreciate you don't want to put details on here.

Customer:

what do you mean public?

Customer:

I thought this was confidential

Max Lowry :

Other people can see these chats- but they don't know who you are or where you're from - dont worry.

Max Lowry :

And I did stop you from putting anything confidential on here - so it's okay.

Customer:

they can see all of the dialogue?

Customer:

I didn't realise

Max Lowry :

The site does tell you that quite clearly when you use it.

Max Lowry :

But like I said - you're anonymous.

Max Lowry :

And you've put no detail on here. Only general information. And nobody knows where you're from.

Max Lowry :

You could be from anywhere in the world!

Customer:

ok

Max Lowry :

Anyway, does this answer your question for this evening?

Customer:

I guess so but just need to decide what to option to take

Max Lowry :

You do need to decide - and only you can decide on that.

Customer:

one more question too

Customer:

actually its ok

Max Lowry :

OK?

Customer:

yes its ok, thanks for your time

Max Lowry :

Okay - have a great evening and take care of yourself.

Customer:

ok thanks

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.

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