By Dan Goodin
2nd March 2009
Personal medical records belonging to Scotland's rich and powerful -
including Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Holyrood's First Minister Alex
Salmond - have been illegally accessed in a breach of a national
database that holds details of 2.5 million people.
The files contained names, ages, addresses, and occupations of the
patients, in addition to medical information such as a list of any
current medications and allergies to medicines, according to The Sunday
Mail. The records of BBC newswoman Jackie Bird (an earlier version of
this story mistakenly referred to her as "newsman") and former Labour
leader Jack McConnell and his culture chief wife Bridget were also
The files were part of the Emergency Care Summary system database, which
was established three years ago amid guarantees by the NHS that it was
protected using the "highest standards of security." NHS staff generally
have to ask patients' permission before reading records except when a
patient is unconscious or otherwise unable to give consent.
An NHS Fife doctor has been charged with contravention of the Data
Protection Act in the case and appeared on petition at Dunfermline in
late December. He made no plea or declaration and isn't scheduled to
appear again in court until later this year.
Best Selling Security Books and More!