The Conservative Party has outlined its proposals for the NHS in a new draft manifesto that could have major implications on the NHS National Programme for IT.
According to the report, the party will "unleash an information revolution in the NHS by making detailed data about the performance of trusts, hospitals, GPs, doctors and other staff available to the public online", while vowing to "put patients in charge of their own health records, with the ability to choose which providers they share them with".
The plan could potentially be the first step in responsibility for electronic patient data being handed over to the likes of Google or Microsoft, an idea that the Conservatives floated in April last year. Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat spokesman for health, expressed concerns at the time that such an arrangement could be inappropriate considering a number of close ties between Cameron’s party and Google.
Steve Hilton, a senior advisor to David Cameron, is married to Google’s vice president of communications and public affairs Rachel Whetstone, while Cameron himself spoke at the internet giant’s Zeitgeist Conference in San Francisco in 2007, at Google’s expense.