BBC Scotland reporters in medical records alert

Seven BBC journalists in Scotland have been warned that their health records may have been misused by a doctor.

The journalists received letters from NHS Fife telling them that their personal health records may have been inappropriately accessed by a clinician in the county, the BBC reported.

The corporation said newsreader Jackie Bird, TV presenter Catriona Shearer, TV and radio presenter Abeer MacIntyre, weather presenter Judith Tonner, home affairs correspondent Reevel Alderson, environment correspondent Louise Batchelor and reporter Elizabeth Quigley had each received a letter from NHS Fife.

Bird told the BBC: “I wondered why NHS Fife was getting in touch with me and as I read the letter, which was obviously intended to allay fears, the more fearful I became.

“It was a strange feeling that someone unknown could have accessed my private information.”

A BBC Scotland spokesman said: “This is a matter for the individuals concerned. We do have an employee assistance scheme which offers a confidential counselling service on a range of issues.”

The NHS trust alerted Fife Constabulary in October about concerns that a doctor employed by the health board may have misused access to NHS electronic records.

The health authority said they understand that the clinician concerned has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

The data involved was Emergency Care Summaries (ECS), which give basic personal information such as name, age and address and any current drug prescriptions.

Any doctor accessing the records must ask the consent of the patient, unless they are unconscious.

ECS data is held electronically and the summaries are being compiled for all patients in Scotland.

The health board could not comment on how many other patients were affected.

An NHS Fife spokeswoman said: “During early October 2008, NHS Fife notified Fife Police that a doctor employed by the organisation may have misused access to NHS electronic records.

“We subsequently understand that the clinician concerned has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

“No patient data was lost to the NHS and patient care has not been compromised.

“Senior clinicians within NHS Fife have notified the patients whose records may have been accessed.”

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