Nurse at Edinburgh hospital accessed patient records
A NURSE who was sacked for reading confidential files belonging to a neighbour and her friends has been suspended by a watchdog.
Judith Naughton, 44, breached patient confidentiality by reading medical records without clinical justification.
She read files of 28 people while working at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Naughton also accessed files belonging to a friend, a neighbour and a friend of a friend between June and December 2018.
She also revealed to her partner that his long-term friend was being treated at the hospital. Most of the patients were men who had been admitted to casualty.
Naughton was caught by an IT security audit in December 2018, which led to her being dismissed by NHS Lothian in April last year.
An investigation revealed she had accessed the files of five patients six times.
She was carpeted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which has ruled her registration should be suspended for four months.
Naughton admitted she accessed records out of curiosity and accepted breaching confidentiality rules, blaming stress for her actions. She previously received a warning for a data breach in 2012.
The hearing was told by Helen Guest, on behalf of the NMC, that Naughton's behaviour amounted to misconduct.
She said the conduct was 'unacceptable and exposed patient files, despite already having been warned about her conduct'.
Naughton's lawyer Catherine Stock accepted her actions amounted to misconduct.
A review hearing will be held before Naughton's suspension is due to end.
NHS Lothian said it could not comment.
Naughton began working in the private sector last year and her manager provided the panel with a positive reference.