In short:

SA Health is investigating allegations staff “inappropriately” accessed the hospital records of a patient ABC News understands is Charlie Stevens, the SA police commissioner’s son.

Ten out of 18 staff under investigation have been suspended so far, SA Health confirmed.

What’s next?

SA Health has apologised to the patient’s family.

South Australia’s public health department has suspended 10 staff over allegations they “inappropriately” accessed the medical records of a patient ABC News understands to be the SA police commissioner’s son. 

In a statement to the ABC, SA Health’s deputy chief executive, Judith Formston, said as a result of an audit, a total of 18 staff were currently under investigation for “potential inappropriate access of a SAHLN [Southern Adelaide Local Health Network] patient’s record”.

She said 10 of those workers had so far been suspended pending the outcome of the investigations.

“Any staff member who has accessed information inappropriately will be subject to disciplinary processes, which may include termination of their employment,” she said.

Charlie Stevens, the son of SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, suffered an irreversible brain injury after a hit-and-run crash on South Australia’s south coast during schoolies celebrations in November.

The 18-year-old was flown to Flinders Medical Centre but later died.

The community lay floral tributes near the crash site at Goolwa.(ABC News)

His death sparked an outpouring of grief across the country, with Charlie’s local sporting clubs, school, state and federal politicians sharing tributes and condolences all commenting on his death.

SA Health has not stipulated where the staff under investigation were working at the time the medical records were allegedly accessed.

ABC News understands the department’s patient record system can be accessed from multiple SA Health sites.

Ms Formston said SA Health was keeping the patient’s family informed of its investigations.

“Our sincerest apologies go to the family for distress caused,” she said.

“Protecting patients and their private clinical information is a matter we take extremely seriously.

“We have robust policies and processes in place to ensure that staff are accessing appropriate information and conduct audits to ensure our policies are complied with.”

Charlie Stevens died after being hit by a car near Goolwa Beach.(Supplied: SA Police)

In a statement to ABC News, an SA Police spokesperson said SA Health had “kept the Stevens family apprised of its investigation”.

“The Stevens family has no further comment,” they said.

SA Health in 2016 vowed to reveal on a quarterly basis how many SA Health staff had been disciplined for inappropriately accessing patient records.

The move came after it was revealed that 21 SA Health employees were caught snooping and two of them were fired.

Thirteen of those were caught unnecessarily looking into the medical records of accused killer Cy Walsh, who was charged with the murder of Phil Walsh when he was the coach of the Adelaide Crows.

Posted , updated