The NHS IT worker who snooped on hundreds of patients' records

AN IT manager for the NHS in Yorkshire has been warned he faces jail after admitting illegally spying on medical records of patients.

Dale Trever, 22, was working for a primary care trust as a data quality manager when he accessed patient records - all for women and mostly for his family, friends and colleagues.

It is thought he looked at records on 431 occasions, even going in on weekends to have an illicit peek.

On 336 of those occasions, he was checking out the records of family, friends and colleagues.

John Fitzsimmons, director of performance, governance and informatics for NHS Hull, said Trever's actions were a serious breach of trust.

He said: "Any breach of patient confidentiality is a serious matter and so in this particular case, we welcome the fact a successful criminal prosecution has been brought and that a custodial sentence is being considered.

"It sends out a powerful message to NHS staff and the healthcare community about the importance of data protection.

"We hope the outcome, following a lengthy investigation, will go some way to reassure patients just how seriously we considered this breach of their trust to have been."

Trever, of Hull, appeared at the city's Crown Court and pleaded guilty to seven counts of breaching the Computer Misuse Act 1990 by accessing the medical records of patients without authority.

His barrister, Anil Murray, said: "The defendant denies altering any medical records or copying or printing it off."

Recorder Graham Cook has warned him all sentencing options are open.

He said: "You have pleaded guilty to these offences and I have been asked to adjourn the case for the preparation of a pre-sentence report. I will do that and it will look at all options relating to your case."

Trever had been working as a primary care data quality facilitator for the Hull PCT when he accessed the data between October 2008 and June last year.

On the practice's website, it states the PCT's privacy policy, reading: "We respect your right to privacy and keep all your health information confidential and secure."

Trever will be sentenced next month.