Government attacked on NHS database u-turn


12:30 pm - June 6th 2010

by Newswire    


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The right-wing civil liberties group Big Brother Watch has attacked the government for doing a “u-turn” on medical data storage.

The coalition announced this week it would continue building the ‘Summary Care Record’ database.

The Conservative policy was: ‘A Conservative government would “dismantle” central NHS IT infrastructure, halt and renegotiate NPfIT local service provider contracts and introduce interoperable local systems.’

Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch said:

This is a disgraceful u-turn. The Coalition wants us to believe that they are serious about privacy and civil liberties – this is their first real test, and they have failed it.

The SCR is an unnecessary and intrusive piece of bureaucracy, as well as being wildly expensive. Doctors have managed without it until now. Our research has shown how vulnerable the NHS is to breaches of privacy – this will make things much worse.

Finally, I note that it was “announced” by brief Written Answer, without debate, on the day of the statement made to the House on the Cumbrian shooting, so it didn’t get picked up anywhere. A Jo Moore 9/11 situation writ large, but after weeks in power rather than New Labour’s years in office by the time of Moore’s disgrace. New government, old tricks. No change, and no shame.

Last year the Libdem health spokesperson Norman Lamb had said: “The Government needs to end its obsession with massive central databases. The NHS IT scheme has been a disastrous waste of money and the national programme should be abandoned.”

Now both parties have quietly dropped those commitments.

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Reader comments


Of course they have done a U turn, like New Labour they are “business-friendly” and that means that they have to channel money from the taxpayer into the pockets of their business friends. There is no better way of sweetening their friends in the private service sector than with fat NHS IT contracts. New Labour did it, the ConDems are doing it.

Just wait until Lansley’s “Big Society” plans for the NHS published. They will be yet more lucrative contracts for the ConDem’s friends in the private services sector (and by contracts I mean privatisation of services, in some cases NHS hospitals). The worrying thing is that New Labour already had plans for privatising NHS services, the ConDems just want to go a lot further, a lot faster.

2. Friendly Pharmacist

The summary care record is not a centralised database. It is a tiny fraction of the data stored on your GP’s database made accessible to other NHS computers in a highly restricted fashion.

Richard you are dead right. All the political parties are now owned by the cororates and the politicians see it as their jobs to hand out ‘welfarfe ‘ to these corporations.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Derek Bryant

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  2. Robin Green

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  3. Neil Fawcett

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  4. Liberal Conspiracy

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