South West Wales

Ex-nurse fined for illegally accessing confidential records

Ambulances outside Glangwili Hospital Image copyright Nigel Davies/Geograph

A former nurse from Carmarthenshire who has been fined for breaching the Data Protection Act, had illegally accessed more than 3,000 confidential medical records, it has emerged.

Elaine Lewis, 63, from Llansteffan, was fined £650 by Llanelli magistrates.

She was also ordered to pay costs of £664 and a victim surcharge of £65.

Lewis had worked at Glangwili hospital and was sacked by Hywel Dda University Health Board for breaching patient confidentiality.

The records also included those of work colleagues.

The health board sent letters to all the patients involved last July after the data breach came to light.

It also referred the case to the office of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) which brought the prosecution.

Health board chief executive Steve Moore said: "Patient confidentiality is of paramount importance to us and since the initial incident we have put in place a series of measures to strengthen our information governance processes and procedures.

"We know that this has been a distressing case for those affected and we hope that our actions have demonstrated our ongoing commitment to ensuring that we avoid something similar from ever happening again.

"Now that the investigation is complete we will be writing again to each patient directly affected by this matter to apologise and offer further support."

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