Almost 50 doctors have signed up as part of a class action legal case over a data breach that involves GP patients.
Capita – which runs back-office functions for GPs, such as pensions and transfer of medical records, via Primary Care Support England (PCSE), among a number of other services – is facing legal action over a data breach that took place earlier this year.
In March, Capita experienced a cyber-attack which caused disruption to its services, with the company initially saying that the incident was limited to ‘parts of the Capita network’ and that there was ‘no evidence of customer, supplier or colleague data having been compromised’.
However, in May, the firm admitted that ‘some data was exfiltrated’ and that it would need to spend between £15m and £20m associated with the cyber incident, including specialist professional fees, recovery and remediation costs and investment to reinforce Capita’s cyber security.
At the time, Manchester law firm Barings Law said that the data breach could ‘impact millions of people across a number of public services.
Barings Law has now confirmed to Pulse that they have almost 50 doctors signed up as part of the lawsuit.
Adnan Malik, head of data breach at Barings Law, told Pulse: ‘We have been inundated with enquires from people affected by the Capita breach.
‘There is a sense of anger compounded with frustration from our clients whose details have potentially been breached.
‘They are extremely concerned with the potential ramifications as the hackers may be in possession of a treasure trove of information and some of our clients fear that everything including their personal medical history could be at risk.’
He said that because of the sheer numbers of people signing up to the class action, it is difficult to say what profession they work in without going through every case, but that ‘the concern over medical history being leaked by the hackers is very real for many’.
Mr Malik added: ‘The large number of those affected by the breach have serious concerns about their most sensitive information being in the possession of criminals with nefarious actions in mind.
‘Capita were in possession of extremely valuable and sensitive data for what we believe to be millions of people.
‘There should have been robust systems in place to stop the breach. We have been contacted by individuals who use their pension to get by and were tearful that this money could go missing due to the hack.’
GPs have experienced numerous problems with Capita’s performance as PCSE in the past, such as delays with the processing of their pensions at the start of retirement.
Earlier this year, Pulse reported that the personal information of up to 3,200 GPs was available online in a ‘potential data breach’ being investigated by locum bank Lantum.