Tories' NHS IT proposals slammed by own party member

28. Juli 2009
David Davis has heavily criticised his own party's plans to allow NHS patient records to be stored online by IT suppliers.

The MP, who was Conservative shadow home secretary until only a month ago, said the party would be "mad" to hand over patient health records to Microsoft or GoogleGoogle to hold online, if the party won the next general election. Alles zu Google auf CIO.de

The criticisms were made in an opinion piece that Davis wrote in The Times, in which he responded to his party's plans to scrap the central government 'spine' of patient health records, which is part of the £12.7 billion National Programme for IT. Conservative leader David Cameron had said the measures were a possible alternative to the current setup.

While there were "massive weaknesses in the NHS' bloated central database", he said, there are also "enormous risks" from using the private sector to perform the same function.

The dangers lay in potential misuse of data by companies with a large internet presence, he claimed.

Google came under the heaviest criticism from Davis. He cited human rights watchdog Privacy International which gave the company a low privacy rating.