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Kate Middleton medical data breach: Probe launched against London Clinics where Princess admitted for surgery

Britain's data watchdog said it was looking into a report that staff at the hospital where Kate, Princess of Wales, underwent abdominal surgery in January, had attempted to access her private health records.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 London Updated on: March 21, 2024 6:08 IST
Kate Middleton and The Clinics
Image Source : AP Kate Middleton and The Clinics

London:  The UK's information watchdog said it is assessing reports that hospital staff attempted to view Kate Middleton’s private medical records while the Princess of Wales was admitted for abdominal surgery in London. The private hospital in central London, The London Clinic, where the 42-year-old was treated in January is said to have launched its own investigation into the claims. According to a report in the ‘Daily Mirror’, at least one member of staff at the hospital had allegedly tried to access Princess Kate’s medical notes.

"We can confirm that we have received a breach report and are assessing the information provided," said a spokesperson for the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The hospital reportedly contacted Kensington Palace, the Prince and Princess of Wales’ office, after the alleged breach came to light. "This is a matter for the London Clinic," the palace said in a statement.

There is no place for those who “intentionally breach” the trust of any patients: London Clinics

The London Clinic released a statement on Wednesday to say there is no place for those who “intentionally breach” the trust of any patients. “Everyone at the London Clinic is acutely aware of our individual, professional, ethical and legal duties with regard to patient confidentiality," said Al Russell, CEO of the London Clinic. "We take enormous pride in the outstanding care and discretion we aim to deliver for all our patients who put their trust in us every day. We have systems in place to monitor the management of patient information and, in the case of any breach, all appropriate investigatory, regulatory and disciplinary steps will be taken,” he said.

"There is no place at our hospital for those who intentionally breach the trust of any of our patients or colleagues," he added. The incident is reminiscent of a data breach scandal dating back to 2012, when two Australian DJs posed as Queen Elizabeth II and the then Prince Charles in a prank call to King Edward VII's Hospital in London where Kate Middleton was being treated for acute morning sickness.

India-born nurse committed suicide in her nursing quarter

India-born nurse Jacintha Saldanha was found to have committed suicide in her nursing quarter three days after she inadvertently transferred the hoax call to a colleague who divulged details about the recovery of Kate – then Duchess of Cambridge. The incident caused international outrage at the time, with the nurse’s body flown to Mangalore for last rites.

The latest privacy breach incident related to Kate’s health comes amid conspiracy theories and social media speculation around her recuperation from a planned abdominal surgery. Kensington Palace had said after the procedure on January 16 that the Princess of Wales was “making good progress” and that it would not be providing commentary on a private medical matter. The Princess of Wales is not expected to return to official royal duties until next month, after the Easter school holidays.

Over the weekend, she was filmed by a member of the public out shopping with her husband, Prince William, at a farm shop in Windsor near their family home. The palace hopes it would help quash rumours around her recovery, made worse after Kate was forced to apologise for the “confusion” she caused with an amateur edit of a picture of her with her three kids – Princes George, 10, and Louis, 5, and Princess Charlotte, 8 – released earlier this month.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: Kate 'needs to be here': Prince William after alleged video of her first appearance since surgery

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