NOSEY nurses broke patient confidentiality rules to peek at medical records believed to belong to football legend Sir Bobby Robson.

The former England and Newcastle United manager needed life saving surgery in August for a brain tumour with the work was carried out by medics at the Newcastle's General Hospital.

Sir Bobby is now a picture of health but since his brush with cancer, staff from Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are believed to have tapped into his computerised records.

Bosses at the Trust launched an investigation in October and as a result sent written warnings to an undisclosed number of staff members involved.

Despite the tip-off Trust chiefs and union officials refused to deny or confirm whether Sir Bobby's records were involved in the case.

But hospital bosses stressed the importance they place on patient confidentiality and carrying out regular checks to make sure staff are acting within the rules.

David Levy, personnel manager for the Trust, said: "All staff are made to sign a confidentiality statement covering medical and employment records.

"This lays down the rules about what can be accessed and disclosed, and we take it very seriously when these rules are broken.

"No-one has been dismissed as a result of the investigation."

Sir Bobby said: "If my records are involved in this case then this is something the hospital has dealt with and I'm happy to leave it in their hands."

The investigation found staff members had been looking up records without having a clinical need to do so.

This was spotted as the Trust ran regular checks on how staff had been using their information storing systems.

Unison regional officer Ian Daley said: "The local branch has been involved with this case and it is clear there are some people who have been looking inappropriately at medical records."