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NHS health records to go online

Source PA News

Updated on 10 August 2009

NHS patients will be able to read their medical records online under Tory proposals.

IT giants such as Google or Microsoft could host the information which would be accessed securely via personal computers in the way bank account details are, the party said.

The proposal comes after an independent review of NHS IT commissioned by shadow health minister Stephen O'Brien.

It is also calling for an overhaul of IT provision within the health service, allowing local trusts to choose their computer systems from a catalogue of agreed providers rather than having it provided centrally.

The Government's £12 billion scheme to computerise every patient's health records - thought to be the world's biggest civilian IT project - has been plagued by problems and delays over recent years.

According to the Conservative review, patients could improve communications with their doctors by adding details or share experiences online with others facing similar health problems.

Similar schemes are already used in the United States and Canada, where a local record is also held by the doctor overseeing a patient's care.

There would be consultation with patients and doctors over the extent to which records could be edited - including the possibility individuals could choose to delete information.

Mr O'Brien said: "Giving patients greater control over their health records is crucial if we are to make the NHS more patient-centred.

"Labour's attitude to our personal data is misguided. They seem to think they own it and, all too often, they have been appallingly careless in looking after it."

These news feeds are provided by an independent third party and Channel 4 is not responsible or liable to you for the same.

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