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Conservatives tight-lipped over privatising patient records

The possibility that the Conservatives might transfer NHS medical records to private-sector providers such as Google or Microsoft has been dismissed as speculation.

The idea was mooted after Conservative leader David Cameron raised the possibility of bypassing the ‘unresponsive national IT system’ that ‘isn’t really working very well’.

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘For every penny we could save… we could put money into nurses and doctors and patient care.

‘I don’t accept the principle that the safest place for information is with the Government, because actually, if we think about it, who has lost all our data recently? It was Revenue and Customs, the Government. I don’t accept that somehow our data is safe when it is the Government that is looking after it.’

A Conservative spokesman had previously said that the NHS IT system is being reviewed by experts hired by them, and that they would be reporting back in a ‘few weeks.’ He said: ‘There is still an independent review ongoing, so it is just speculation at this stage.’

The Times newspaper has reported the Conservatives as saying that they would replace Labour’s ‘centrally determined and unresponsive national IT system’, and allow private companies to handle patients’ notes.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I believe that patient notes should be kept with the patient. In that way they would be safe and they would know that it was imperative that if they have an appointment they will not be seen without their notes. It is now expected that any letters that are sent about the patient to GP's or other consultants are suppposed to be copied to the patient. The patient would then be responsible for fiiling their own notes and bringing them with them for all appointments. I think we should put more trust in the people we care for. Give them the responsibilty for we know as an organisation how hopeless the NHS is at losing notes.

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