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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71043
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My neighbour is telling everyone in my street that I have looked

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My neighbour is telling everyone in my street that I have looked through her confidential health records and have told neighbours what is in them. I work on a hospital campus, but on the research side for a university, so have no access to records and I do not work for the nhs. My neighbour repeated this accusation to three police officers. What can I do to stop these lies?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What action have the police taken?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I haven't contacted the police about this. My neighbour was harassing my mother and the police were called. This was an accusation she came out with as part of her screaming session.

I see. They are not investigating you then.
There is not a great deal that can be done about that specific response to police officers. If the police are called she is entitled to offer a defence and unfortunately sometimes people do lie.
This is the basis for a defamation action. There are various problems with that though.
If you don't have a job that involves the need for confidentiality then, to be wholly honest, I'm not sure this is defamation. Clearly it is an untrue statement but the damage to your reputation lies in the implication that you have broken confidentiality. If you are, for instance, a doctor that would be defamatory.
If you do get over that hurdle, there is also the financial issue. It is very expensive to sue for defamation even under the reforms and if she doesn't have the money to pay the award there is no point.
You could get a solicitor to write to her warning her of the laws of defamation for about £100 plus VAT and often that does deter people.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Jo that is very helpful. I will find a local expert and will ask them to send them a letter.

No problem and all the best.
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