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Breaches of confidentiality

It’s something that should never happen at all.

Yet a shocking 12% of our respondents said that the assessor had problems with having a quiet, confidential place to call from. And some of the things people experienced were both a gross breach of data protection laws and deeply distressing. Below are some of the incidents respondents told us about

There was a trainee listening in and she had two people walk through the room sniggering at bowel and bladder questions

I heard sniggering and muffled laughter and a mobile phone ring which was answered and not by interviewer

I repeatedly heard noises in the background, which I enquired about because it was distracting me from answering properly. I was told that it was just background noise because the female assessor was working from home. Later on in the call, after having to give humiliating answers about myself and my disabilities/illnesses, I heard a man's voice and then shortly after I heard a small excitable child's voice! I felt beyond humiliated! . Even if she was using a headset, she still repeated what I'd just said so my business was broadcast regardless and that's not on!! I couldn't wait to get off the phone and cried my eyes out afterwards. I feel sick and personally and emotionally violated

I could hear other people in the background and at more than one point the assessor spoke to another person whilst interviewing me. I worried about my privacy and personal information being shared.

I could hear people talking in the background

Had other people in the room who we were unaware off.

They were walking about trying to get a better signal and was also heard on one occasion talking to someone else

Child/children interrupted, so assessment was not entirely confidential, I felt.

Children playing in the background, which the assessor said was due to working at home.

Her son's phone rang during my assessment (ringtone was a duck quacking!) so I'm wondering whether she was on her own or with family.

In some cases the claimant was told that was another person on the call, but this could also cause difficulties.

They said they was going to join the call with their clinical team. So not sure how many people were listening in which I felt very conscious of and embarrassed

I was told someone was listening in but not who. I was not advised I had the right to refuse this. My mobility was assessed OVER THE PHONE and resulted in no award - when I am riddled with osteoarthritis and due to have a knee replacement 9th November


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