A DATA protection officer who had falsely claimed to be a solicitor has left another city medical practice.

Paul Couldrey was hired by multiple surgeries, including in Worcester, on the recommendation of SW Healthcare, GP Federation for all 32 practices across South Worcestershire.

In October last year, the Worcester News revealed the Solicitors Regulation Authority had warned Mr Couldrey to “take remedial steps” or he could face two years in prison.

READ MORE: Medical practice officer given prison warning over fake solicitor claims

On a number of occasions, including on his personal blog and in emails, he had referred to himself as a “qualified solicitor” – though, according to SRA, has since admitted he has no such qualifications.

Mr Couldrey confirmed this week he no longer offers his services to Severn Valley Medical Practice, though would not reveal why, and said he is still DPO for other Worcestershire practices.

Tony Dipple, business manager of Elbury Moor Medical Centre, confirmed earlier this year that Mr Couldrey had been DPO for the centre “for a few months” but no longer was.

SW Healthcare sent out literature to surgeries which included a recommendation to hire Mr Couldrey, managing director for PCIG Ltd, for £300 a year as DPO – describing him as a “qualified solicitor”.

In response to a Freedom of Information request, Horsfield and St Martin’s Gate surgeries and Barbourne Health Centre – all in Worcester – said they believed only “minimal” due diligence was required before hiring him.

READ MORE: City doctors surgeries admit full due diligence not done before hiring fake solicitor

Those three surgeries sent back the same response, which said: “We consider that a contract value of less than £500 requires minimal due diligence.”

NHS England ruled in January that Severn Valley had breached its data protection obligation after posting personal information about former patient Andrew Brown on WhatDoTheyKnow.com as part of an FoI response.

The apparent breach took place the previous year but it is unclear when Mr Couldrey took up his post.

SW Healthcare did not wish to comment further and Severn Valley was unavailable.

READ MORE: NHS England rules medical practice did breach data protection in U-turn