Doctor exposed 'confidential' medical information on man's Facebook

Dr Linda Morris was handed a two-month suspension after a tribunal ruled her fitness to practise was impaired.

NHS Fife sexual health doctor posted man’s confidential medical information to Facebook iStock

A Fife sexual health doctor has been suspended for accessing a man’s medical information without permission and then sharing it to Facebook.

Dr Linda Morris was working at a sexual health clinic with NHS Fife when she requested that Mr A’s files be transferred to her from NHS Grampian.

The transfer was made on July 11, 2016, without a clinical reason to do so and Dr Morris also failed to note that she had viewed the files.

Four years later – on either June 27 or 28, 2020 – she made an “inappropriate” post on Mr A’s Facebook profile which revealed confidential information about him that she had seen in his medical records.

Dr Morris admitted all of the accusations during a tribunal to judge her fitness to practise by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).

The tribunal found her fitness to be “currently impaired” and handed the doctor a two-month suspension.

Dr Morris’ case was brought to the MPTS panel following an investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC).

In a statement, she admitted to breaking “the professional value of trust” and said she had gained insight which would prevent her from repeating her actions.

“It was a very particular set of circumstances with Mr A, but I will never again let my emotions cloud my professional judgement.”

The hearing papers stated that the panel “considered the doctor’s interests weighed with the public interest”.

Adding: “It took into account the positive testimonials from colleagues and patient questionnaires, in concluding that allowing Dr Morris to resume practice in her specialist field as soon as appropriate, was in both her interests and the public interest.

“The sanction of suspension is necessary in the wider public interest, in sending a signal to the public and the wider profession regarding appropriate standards of conduct for doctors.

“The tribunal gave weight to all the mitigating factors it has identified in concluding that, in all the circumstances of this case, a period of two months is the appropriate and proportionate length of suspension.”

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