21st Nov, 2017

'Nosey' midwife struck off after 'snooping' through medical records

Laura Kearns 14th Nov, 2017

A ‘STUPIDLY NOSEY’ midwife has been struck off the register after ‘snooping’ through the medical records of colleagues, friends and relatives, we can exclusively reveal.

Vicky Bloxham was employed at University Hospital in Walsgrave, Coventry, when she broke confidentiality rules by using the hospital’s computer system to look at medical records of people who were not her patients.

While working at the hospital between 2002 and last year, she did this nearly 50 times, including looking at the records of colleagues, her husband, best friend, a former neighbour, a former boyfriend and school friends – to name a few.

In some cases, including that of a colleague, she then made the confidential information public.

Mrs Bloxham also admitted viewing her own records and said this was due to undergoing medical investigations at the time.

When the hospital discovered she had broken terms of her employment she was sacked before her case was passed on to the Nursing and Midwife Council (NMC).

When the case was heard by the council’s panel, Mrs Bloxham contacted them to admit her failings.

She said: “My actions were completely inquisitive and were never spread to anyone but myself. Pure snoopiness and being stupidly nosey.

“Unfortunately the events are unchangeable which I have greatly learnt a lesson from. I hope to be able to move forward and put this harrowing time behind me.”

The midwife said she ‘just carried on’ viewing patient files as she had not been caught.

The NMC panel said her failings broke the council’s code and went against her training and contractual obligations.

A spokeswoman said: “Over a sustained period of some years, Mrs Bloxham repeatedly and deliberately abused her position of trust as a registrant nurse and midwife by accessing or allowing others to access confidential patient records without a ligitaimate clinical reason.

“Her misconduct placed patients at unwarranted risk of harm and breached fundamental tenets of the professions. She caused real distress to colleagues and former colleagues who were receiving care at the trust whose confidential medical records she accessed without ligitimate reason.

“Mrs Bloxham betrayed the trust of patients, some of whom were also her professional colleagues, by obtaining information about them which she had no right to possess and then, in some cases, by further breaching confidentiality by disclosing that information to others.”

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) says all staff must undertake annual training to remind them of their duties regarding data protection and confidentiality.

A spokeswoman said: “We expect all our employees to uphold the highest standards to protect personal information about our patients, and to only access medical records for the patients they are currently caring for.

“The midwife concerned has not worked for the trust in over a year. As soon as these allegations came to light, we launched an immediate investigation and referred this to the NMC.”

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