NHS: Big tech might be OK for patient power
'No decision about me, without me'. Unless I'm unhinged
The NHS spine project is dead - long live the spine!
Reaction so far has been muted. An official NHS blog site highlights a great deal of suspicion on the part of those likely to be involved in the changes that this is just window-dressing, and not real change. It cites Rich Watts, who notes "patients will be in charge of making decisions about their care" yet the talk throughout the rest of the paper is of "empowering health professionals".
However, Watts says, although the interests of health professionals and patients are aligned in theory, this is not always the case in practice.
The patient choice scheme also revives concerns, expressed last year, that the motivation for this move had as much to do with Conservative links to US providers of software for the job - such as Google and Microsoft - as to any great concern for patient welfare.
Davis said: "It remains essential that these consultations scrutinise the security and privacy aspects of the individual patients' information.
"The NHS has a history of security failures, including information being lost, misused or accessed without permission.
"It is vital that any moves to improve the convenience of access to information, such as putting patients' records online, are balanced by a proper care and attention to prevent the sort of disastrous failures to protect individual privacy which has been too often characteristic of government IT."
Both consultations close on 14 January 2011 - so if readers wish to make their views known, they should start writing now. ®