GPs who lose laptop face £5,000 fine

GPs who have laptops containing patients' records stolen from their cars should face prosecution, according to the Information Commissioner.

Giving evidence to the Lords’ Constitution Committee last week, Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said: ‘It is hard to see that is anything but gross negligence.’

GPs could be fined up to £5,000 in a magistrates' court or an unlimited sum in a crown court.
A spokeswoman for the Information Commissioner confirmed afterwards that a draft paper making the proposal had been submitted to the Minister of Justice.

She said: ‘It’s not just GPs. What we are saying is that where an organisation knowingly and recklessly fails to comply with the Data Protection Act and creates a substantial risk of damage or distress to individuals, we want it to become a criminal offence and to be able to prosecute immediately.’

At the moment the Information Commissioner must first issue an enforcement notice and only if this is breached is a criminal prosecution pursued.

neil.durham@haymarket.com

Comment below and tell us what you think 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

GPs praised as vaccine uptake rates triple in minority groups

GPs praised as vaccine uptake rates triple in minority groups

GP teams have been praised by NHS England for helping to save lives after COVID-19...

Viewpoint: Why health regulation needs to modernise - care minister Helen Whately

Viewpoint: Why health regulation needs to modernise - care minister Helen Whately

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the need for simpler and more flexible professional...

MPs warn 'quickly drawn up' COVID-19 shielding plan left vulnerable patients exposed

MPs warn 'quickly drawn up' COVID-19 shielding plan left vulnerable patients exposed

Vulnerable patients were left at risk during the pandemic because shielding plans...

Patients testing positive for COVID-19 could be offered antivirals from autumn

Patients testing positive for COVID-19 could be offered antivirals from autumn

People who test positive for COVID-19 or who have had contact with a confirmed case...

GP training: Conducting your consultations for the recorded consultation assessment (RCA)

GP training: Conducting your consultations for the recorded consultation assessment (RCA)

In the second of two articles Dr Pipin Singh offers practical advice for GP trainees...