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20th Mar 2024

Investigation launched at clinic where Kate had surgery

Ryan Price

People are calling for the release of original photo after Kate Middleton admits to 'editing' Mother's Day pic

A major security probe is underway after reports that hospital staff ‘attempted to view private medical records’.

An investigation has been launched at The London Clinic after it was revealed that a member of staff breached Kate Middleton’s confidentiality while she was a patient at the hospital back in January.

The Princess of Wales underwent abdominal surgery at the clinic in Marleybone earlier this year, and it has now emerged that at least one member of staff was caught trying to access her private medical notes during her stay.

(Image: Getty)

The London Clinic has historically been known for treating members of the royal family, as well as former Prime Minister’s and President’s.

An Information Commissioner’s Office spokesperson released a pubic statement and confirmed that they have “received a breach report and are assessing the information provided”.

The Princess has reportedly been made aware of the breach and sources suggest that the hospital informed the Palace of the alleged breach as soon as it was discovered.

The mother-of-three is currently recovering at home from the procedure, and was the subject of controversy earlier this month when she admitted to manipulating a Mother’s Day photograph which was posted on social media.

This was the first image of Kate that had been released since she underwent abdominal surgery in January.

Hours after it was posted, several international media agencies retracted the image over concerns it had been “manipulated.”

The agencies pointed out an “inconsistency in alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand”.

Kensington Palace had initially declined to comment on the photo, but in a statement released the following morning, the Princess of Wales apologised for “any confusion” the photo has caused.

An insider from the clinic told The Mirror: “This is a major security breach and incredibly damaging for the hospital, given its unblemished reputation for treating members of the Royal Family. 

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

It is a criminal offence for any member of staff in NHS or private healthcare to access private patient information without permission from the data controller. A person found guilty could not only lose their job, but could face further judicial repercussions.

The London Clinic refused to comment on the claims but said: “We firmly believe that all our patients, no matter their status, deserve total privacy and confidentiality regarding their medical information.”

Kensington Palace have previously stated that Catherine, Princess of Wales will not return to public duties until Easter. However, that hasn’t stopped the public from speculating and developing outlandish conspiracy theories about her absence.

On Sunday, Kate missed her annual St Patrick’s Day appearance at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire, and was replaced at the event by Lady Ghika, wife of the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel, Major General Sir Christopher Ghika. 

Kate became the honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards last year and was honoured by the soldiers during Sunday’s parade.

Speaking to LBC earlier today, Health Minister Maura Caulfield spoke about the possible implications if a member of staff at the London Clinic is found guilty of the security breach.

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

“So 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.”

When asked if it’s likely police action could be taken, she said: “My understanding is that police have been asked to look at it – whether they take action is a matter for them.”

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