Staff at London hospital tried to view Princess of Wales’ medical records: UK paper

 


An investigation has been launched at a private London hospital after its staff tried to view the Princess of Wales’ private medical records, British media reported.

At least one staff member of The London Clinic has been caught attempting to access the medical notes of Kate Middleton, 42, while she was treated there in January, British tabloid The Mirror reported.

“Senior hospital bosses contacted Kensington Palace immediately after the incident was brought to their attention and assured the palace there would be a full investigation,” the insider told the newspaper.

The incident is believed to be the first security breach for the prestigious hospital, which has also treated royals such as King Charles and the late Prince Philip.

The Princess of Wales, who is married to heir to the throne Prince William, underwent abdominal surgery in January at the hospital for a non-cancerous but unspecified condition. At the time, Kensington Palace, where the couple’s home and office are based, said she would be hospitalised for up to two weeks and would not resume royal duties till Easter, which falls on March 31.

She was last seen in public at Christmas, and her prolonged absence from the public eye, coupled with the silence on the medical condition that sparked it, has generated a flurry of conspiracy theories.

A spokesperson for Britain’s privacy and data protection watchdog Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) confirmed on March 19 that it has received a report of a breach and is assessing information provided, according to The Guardian.

According to The Mirror, The London Clinic declined to comment but stated that they “firmly believe that all (their) patients, no matter their status, deserve total privacy and confidentiality regarding their medical information”.

When queried on the matter, Kensington Palace would only say that “this is a matter for The London Clinic”.

It is a criminal offence for staff in England’s publicly funded healthcare system National Health Service (NHS) or a private healthcare setting to access the medical records of a patient without the consent of the organisation’s data controller. 

British police did not confirm whether they had been informed of the allegations.

The insider added: “The whole medical staff have been left utterly shocked and distraught over the allegations and were very hurt that a trusted colleague could have possibly been responsible for such a breach of trust and ethics.”

This is the third controversy to involve the popular Princess in two weeks.

On the same day the data breach hit the headlines, Reuters revealed it had analysed a photo the Princess, a keen amateur photographer, had taken in 2022 and found that it had been altered digitally in eight places.

The image, of the late Queen Elizabeth surrounded by her two youngest grandchildren and eight of her great-grandchildren, had been officially released in April 2023 to mark what would have been the 97th birthday of the former monarch.

Getty Images had reported the same issue.

The two agencies were part of a group of five that had withdrawn another photo taken by the Princess a week earlier over concerns that a photo of the Princess and her three children, which had been released by Kensington Palace to mark Mother’s Day which in Britain fell on March 10, had been “manipulated”.

On March 11, the Princess issued an apology over the matter. In a statement on X, she wrote: “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.”

Kensington Palace has declined to comment on the issue of the altered photographs.

Timeline of events

Dec 25, 2023: The Princess of Wales appears alongside King Charles and her family for their annual walk to Christmas Day services. This marks her last public appearance before her disappearance from the public eye.

Jan 16: The Princess is admitted to The London Clinic, where she is expected to remain for 10 to 14 days before returning home to recover.

Jan 29: Kensington Palace says in a statement that she has returned home after abdominal surgery, adding that she is making “good progress”.

March 10: A photo of her family is issued by Kengsington Palace. Hours later, the photo is withdrawn by major news agencies over concerns that it has been “manipulated”.

March 11: The Princess apologises in a statement on X for the confusion surrounding her family photograph and explains that she has “occasionally (experimented) with editing”.

March 18: She appears in video footage for the first time since her operation in a video posted by The Sun newspaper.

March 19: Reuters says a second royal photograph issued to the media by Kensington Palace has been altered digitally.

Later that day, British tabloid The Mirror reveals that an investigation has been launched at a private London hospital after its staff tried to view the Princess’ private medical records.


Popular posts from this blog

Actor Timothee Chalamet is new king of the US box office with this latest feat

‘At peace with myself’: Chinese actress-director Jia Ling loses half her weight for Yolo

Arrests of three boys who allegedly killed schoolmate cast light on left-behind children in China