A health board has admitted that it is "highly likely" that an employee disclosed details of the medical condition of Gordon Brown's son.
NHS Fife made the admission in response to evidence given by the former Prime Minister at the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics.
Speaking at the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday, Mr Brown said he did not believe The Sun newspaper's revelation of his baby son's cystic fibrosis was obtained by the means the tabloid had claimed.
Mr Brown said: "In 2006 The Sun claimed they had a story from a man in the street who happened to be the father of someone who suffered from cystic fibrosis. I never believed that could be correct."
At the time, only a few medical people knew his son had the condition, he said.
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has denied the story on Fraser Brown’s health was obtained through hacking into medical records. She told the inquiry the information came from a source connected to a charity for the condition.
NHS Fife issued a statement on Monday morning saying it was likely that a member of its staff had passed on the information without authorisation.
John Wilson, chief executive of NHS Fife, said in response: “Any breach of confidentiality in the NHS is unacceptable. We now accept that it is highly likely that, sometime in 2006, a member of staff in NHS Fife spoke, without authorisation, about the medical condition of Mr Brown’s son, Fraser.
“With the passage of time it has not been possible to identify all the circumstances. We believe, however, that there was no inappropriate access to the child’s medical records. We are quite clear that conversations about patients are just as much a breach of confidentiality as looking into their medical records.
“In the six years which have passed, NHS Fife has tightened up its procedures on patient confidentiality, and staff have had appropriate training. I have apologised to Mr and Mrs Brown and we have taken steps to ensure that what happened to Mr and Mrs Brown and their family should not happen again.”
Mr Brown told Lord Leveson: "If we don't root out this kind of practice I don't think we can say we've dealt with some of the abuses that are problematic for us.”
Mr Brown insisted he did not lose the support of The Sun because the newspaper had never backed him.
The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath succeeded Tony Blair as Prime Minister in 2007 but left office after Labour lost the 2010 general election.
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