Ex-Maidstone finance manager Steven Tennison at The College Practice admits snooping on medical records of hundreds of patients
A former finance manager at a Maidstone GP surgery has admitted snooping on the medical records of hundreds of patients.
Steven Tennison today pleaded guilty to charges of unlawfully obtaining the personal data of around 1,940 people registered at The College Practice.
But it is still a mystery why the 37-year-old accessed the records - the majority of which related to women in their 20s and 30s.
Steven Tennison worked at The College Practice in Maidstone. Picture: Google Street View
The record of one woman – believed to be a school friend of Tennison – was accessed repeatedly along with the record of her son.
Tennison was fined a total of £996 when he appeared at Maidstone Magistrates' Court today.
The offences were uncovered in October 2010 when the practice manager at The College Practice surgery, in College Road, was asked to review Tennison's attendance file.
"The irresponsible actions of one employee have undermined their work and he is now facing the consequences of his unlawful actions..." - Stephen Eckersley, from the Information Commissioner's Office
The review included a check of his use of the patient records program, which showed that between August 6, 2009 and October 6, 2010 he had accessed patients' records on 2,023 occasions.
The practice confirmed Tennison only needed to access patients' records on three occasions during this period, when the practice manager was on leave and he was responsible for investigating a complaint.
The prosecution was brought by the Information Commissioner's Office.
Head of enforcement Stephen Eckersley said: "We may never know why Steven Tennison decided to break the law by snooping on hundreds of patients' medical records.
"What we do know is that he'd received data training and knew he was breaking the law, but continued to access highly sensitive information over a 14-month period.
"The GPs and staff at College Practice GP surgery work hard to maintain the confidentiality of their patients' records.
"The irresponsible actions of one employee have undermined their work and he is now facing the consequences of his unlawful actions."
The case was heard at Maidstone Magistrates' Court
Tennison, of Battersea High Street, south London, was also ordered to pay a £99 victim surcharge and £250 in prosecution costs.
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