‘Hefty implications’ warned over Kate medical notes

Kate and William at farm shop near their Windsor home

Source: TMZ

Police have “been asked to look at” whether staff at The London Clinic attempted to access the Princess of Wales’s private medical records, one of Britain’s health ministers says.

Maria Caulfield said there could be “hefty implications” for accessing the notes without permission, including prosecution or fines.

She told LBC her understanding was that police had been contacted, although a Metropolitan Police spokesman said he was not aware of any referral to the force.

According to The Mirror, an investigation has been launched at the private central London hospital after at least one member of staff tried to access Kate’s notes while she was a patient there in January.

“I say this as someone who’s still on the nursing register, that the rules are very, very clear for all patients,” Caulfield said on LBC radio on Wednesday.

“That unless you’re looking after that patient, or unless they’ve given you their consent, you should not be looking at patients’ notes.

“There are rules in place and the information commissioner can levy fines, that can be prosecutions, your regulator, so as a nurse my regulator would be the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council), can take enforcement action.”

Asked if the police should look into the matter, Caulfield said “My understanding is that police have been asked to look at it. Whether they take action is a matter for them.

“But the information commissioner can also take prosecutions, can also issue fines, the [Nursing and Midwifery Council], other health regulators can strike you off the register if the breach is serious enough.”

The princess was admitted to the hospital for abdominal surgery on January 16.

Details of Kate’s condition have not been disclosed. Kensington Palace previously said it was not cancer-related and that the princess wished for her personal medical information to remain private.

Britain’s data watchdog is also assessing the medical breach claim.

“We can confirm that we have received a breach report and are assessing the information provided,” a representative for the Information Commissioner’s Office said on Wednesday (British time).

Kensington Palace has said only: “This is a matter for The London Clinic.”

The hospital said in a statement regarding the media coverage that all its staff were acutely aware of their ethical and legal duties in regard to patient confidentiality.

“We have systems in place to monitor management of patient information and, in the case of any breach, all appropriate investigatory, regulatory and disciplinary steps will be taken,” chief executive Al Russell said.

Wild online speculation

Kate’s absence from public life, after her surgery, has led to wild conspiracy theories on social media about her whereabouts and health.

Video emerged of the princess out shopping with husband Prince William at the weekend at the Windsor Farm Shop, close to their Adelaide Cottage home in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The royal couple also spent Sunday morning watching children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis taking part in a sporting event, according to The Sun.

The online speculation increased after irregularities were spotted in a Mother’s Day photograph of Kate and her children, which led to the princess admitting to “editing” the image and apologising for any “confusion” caused.

It was reported at the weekend that the princess might speak about her health during public engagements. They are not expected to resume until after Easter.


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