Seven BBC journalists have been told that information held on their Emergency Care Summary in Scotland may have been inappropriately accessed by a doctor.

NHS Fife wrote to the seven after discovering that a doctor working for it may have accessed the records. The health board notified Fife Police and the clinician involved has now been reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Jackie Bird, a newsreader on Reporting Scotland, was among those who were contacted. She told the BBC: “I wondered why NHS Fife was getting in touch with me and when I read the letter, which was obviously intended to allay fears, the more fearful I became. It was a strange feeling that someone unknown could have accessed my private information.”

The ECS is uploaded from GP systems every night and holds information on demographic details, current medications and allergies for 5.1m patients. Information is uploaded using an implied consent model plus ‘consent to view’ at the time of each medical encounter, a system which has recently been adopted for the Summary Care Record in England.

In its e-health strategy published three months ago, NHS Scotland said the ECS is currently accessed on 25,000 care occasions a week.

A statement issued by NHS Fife said that during early October 2008, the health board notified Fife Police that a doctor employed by the organisation may have misused access to NHS electronic records.

It added: “No patient data was lost to the NHS and patient care has not been compromised. Senior clinicians within NHS Fife have notified the patients whose records may have been accessed.”

The health board said a further statement would be made once all legal and possible employee conduct issues had been concluded.