NHS IT 'revolution' at risk from cuts, BMA warns

The DoH's plan for an 'information revolution' represents a huge risk as NHS finances are squeezed, according to the BMA.

Dr Nagpaul urged the government to equip NHS staff with the right systems
Dr Nagpaul urged the government to equip NHS staff with the right systems

The union warns that IT is often among the first areas to be cut when the NHS is facing financial pressure, and that if reforms go ahead without adequate funding patient confidentiality will be at risk.

The government's Information Revolution consultation outlined plans to increase patient's access to their records and to health data, and make both easier to share online.

But Dr Chaand Nagpaul, a member of the BMA’s Working Party on IT, said under the current financial constraints, the plans would be 'extremely challenging.'

He urged the government to equip NHS staff with the right systems and involve clinicians at each stage.

'While the principle of patients controlling aspects of their records is a good one, there must be safeguards to reduce the risks involved in sharing such sensitive data,' he said.

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