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Police 'asked to look into Princess of Wales data breach claims'

Police are said to have been asked to look at claims Catherine, Princess of Wales was caught up in a medical records security breach credit:Bang Showbiz
Police are said to have been asked to look at claims Catherine, Princess of Wales was caught up in a medical records security breach credit:Bang Showbiz

Police have "been asked" to look into claims hospital staff attempted to access Catherine, Princess of Wales' medical records.

The 42-year-old royal underwent abdominal surgery at The London Clinic in January and a new report suggests her notes were involved in a "major security breach" - and now UK politician Maria Caulfield has stated police have been asked to review the matter.

During an appearance on radio station LBC on Wednesday (20.03.24), she said: "My understanding is that police have been asked to look at it. Whether they take action is a matter for them."

However, a statement from London's Metropolitan Police has suggested the claims have yet to be officially referred to them.

In a statement issued to Sky News after Caulfield's remarks, the Met Police stated: "We are not aware of any referral to the Metropolitan Police at this time."

Caulfield - who is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Mental Health and Women's Health Strategy and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women - went on to insist data watchdog the Information Commissioner's Officer (ICO) could also take action along with other health regulators.

She added: "The information commissioner can also take prosecutions, can also issue fines, the NMC [Nursing and Midwifery Council], other health regulators can strike you off the register if the breach is serious enough.

"So there are particularly hefty implications if you are looking at notes for medical records that you should not be looking at."

In a separate interview with Sky News, Caulfield said: "These [data privacy] rules apply to all patients, so there are very strict rules about which patient notes you can access.

"You're only allowed to access the patient notes you're caring for, and with their permission, and there's really strict rules ... [It is] pretty serious stuff to be accessing notes that you don't have permission to ...

"From a health perspective, it's not acceptable to be looking at people's notes, but it has been spotted and action has been taken so people can be reassured that if it does happen - particularly with electronic notes these days, it's spotted pretty quickly."

News of the alleged breach was first reported by the Mirror newspaper, with a source telling the publication: "This is a major security breach and incredibly damaging for the hospital, given its unblemished reputation for treating members of the Royal Family.

"Senior hospital bosses contacted Kensington Palace immediately after the incident was brought to their attention. They assured the palace there would be a full investigation."

Bosses at The London Clinic - where Catherine was treated - are also reported to be reviewing the allegations.

A spokesperson for Kensington Palace said: "This is a matter for The London Clinic."