Former Norwich nurse suspended for accessing confidential information

A former Norwich nurse has received a 12 month suspension order for accessing confidential NHS recor

A former Norwich nurse has received a 12 month suspension order for accessing confidential NHS records. - Credit: PA

A former Norwich nurse has been suspended from working in the health service after admitting to accessing confidential information relating to the treatment of a colleague's husband.

Tracey Adams, who worked at the Norwich Community Hospital, was dismissed from Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust in 2011 after admitting to the charge of misconduct.

A conduct and competence committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council decided to suspend the nurse from working in the health service for 12 months after deeming that her actions amounted to 'serious misconduct'.

A hearing on April 22 and 23 heard that on June 3 2011, whilst working as a staff nurse on the Beech Ward at Norwich Community Hospital, she accessed confidential patient information that she had no clinical reason to access. A complaint was made after a colleague called Ms Adams to say that she would not be in work that day because her husband was being taken to A&E at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Following the call, she accessed the electronic records system to view the patient's clinical records.

Ms Adams admitted that she had breached the NHS trust's confidentiality and IT policies, but had acted out of concern for her colleague's husband.

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The panel recognised that there was no direct harm to the patient or to others in the case. However, Ms Adams had 'breached a fundamental tenet of the nursing profession' and the suspension order was sufficient time for the nurse reflect on the incident and to address the concerns identified.

The committee added that there was a potential for harm particularly if her actions were repeated.

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