GP practices face data protection fines worth hundreds of pounds

GP practices are among hundreds of organisations threatened with cash fines for failing to pay an annual data protection fee levied by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

GPs could face fines (Photo:
GPs could face fines (Photo:

The ICO this week issued final penalty notices to 100 organisations, and has sent more than 900 'notices of intent to fine' since September to organisations that include an unspecified number of GP practices.

Fines levied by the ICO can range up to in excess of £4,000 - but because fines are weighted to reflect the size of the organisation, most practices are likely to fall into categories that could be fined between £400 and £600.

Organisations in the lowest tier - with turnover of up to £630,000 or up to 10 employees - can be fined £400 for failing to pay their £40 annual fee, while those in the next tier up - with a turnover of up to £36m or up to 250 employees - can face a £600 fine for failing to pay their £60 annual fee.

Legal action

The ICO says that 'all organisations, companies and sole traders that process personal data must pay an annual fee to the ICO unless they are exempt' - with fees set by the government to fund the watchdog's work.

ICO deputy chief executive Paul Arnold said: 'Following numerous attempts to collect the fees via our robust collection process, we are now left with no option but to issue fines to these organisations. They must now pay these fines within 28 days or risk further legal action.

'You are breaking the law if you process personal data or are responsible for processing it and do not pay the data protection fee to the ICO. We produce lots of guidance for organisations on our website to help them decide whether they need to pay and how they can do this.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

£20 notes spread out

VAT trap for PCNs could strip millions of pounds from general practice

Tens of millions of pounds could be stripped from general practice because work carried...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Is the BMA representing GPs effectively, why GPs face a pension tax hit, and views on the workload crisis

In our regular news review the team discusses representation of GPs, a new survey...

Man sleeping

NICE guidance on insomnia backs app to replace sleeping pills

Hundreds of thousands of people with insomnia could be offered treatment via a mobile...

Health worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine

JCVI backs autumn COVID-19 booster campaign for high-risk adults and NHS staff

Frontline health and social care staff and adults at increased risk of severe illness...

GP consultation

Government accused of 'misleading' claims on general practice workforce

GP leaders have accused the government of making misleading claims about the general...

Consulting room door

LMC calls for enhanced access to be scrapped after abuse forces practice to close reception

A Midlands LMC has backed a practice forced to close its reception desk after abuse...