Lib Dems call for scrapping of national care record

The Liberal Democrats have called for the abolition of the national care record.

The party's shadow health secretary Norman Lamb said that ‘no clinical business case had been made' for the electronic health record, and that nationwide access to records was far less important than local connectivity.

‘We'd abolish it entirely,' he said.

Mr Lamb was speaking to an audience at BMA House in London last night. In a wide ranging debate he also discussed decentralising the health service, better integration of health and social care, and ways to cut the number of NHS managers.

But he refused to back doctors' calls to abolish the NHS market (see video).

Mr Lamb described the National Programme for IT as a ‘massive failure'. As well as abolishing the national care record, the Liberal Democrats wouild scrap the Choose and Book electronic record service.

‘I think it actually constrains choice,' he said. ‘My sister's a GP, and she's always talked to patients about who the right clinician is. Now patient choice is constrained to a list of four buildings.'

He also called for a ‘patient premium', which would give GPs more money for working in deprived areas. 

And he suggested rewarding patients who looked after their own health - for example, with a ‘free trip to Paris on Eurostar'.

Mr Lamb admitted that the chances of the Liberal Democrats forming a government were slim. But he added there was a significant chance of a hung parliament - potentially giving the party substantial influence over future government policies.

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