Submission Summary: 0 pending, 11 declined, 7 accepted (18 total, 38.89% accepted)
Patients will be given the option of moving their medical notes to private companies after the Conservatives said that they would replace Labour's "centrally determined and unresponsive national IT system".
The Tories hope that users will be able to choose from a range of private sector websites, possibly including those operated by Bupa, the healthcare provider. This has raised issues of privacy and security, with MPs and health professionals warning it could hamper doctors' ability to access medical records quickly in an emergency.
Mr Cameron [Conservative party leader] has repeatedly promised to abolish large IT databases. The National Audit Office has said that Connecting for Health, the electronic patient records programme, will not be completed until 2014, four years late, and is expected to cost £12.4 billion. The recent termination of contracts with key software suppliers could add further to the cost.
The Shadow Health Secretary, has also raised questions over whether it is safe for a central database to store sensitive medical records and has asked the British Computer Society to review the NHS IT programme. It is due to report later in the summer.
[The] Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has asked Nominet, which is in charge of the
Skype, which prides itself on the security of its system, issued an apology and said the breach had now been fixed. Josh Silverman, president of the US online text message and voice service, issued a statement of concern. "It was our understanding that it was not TOM's protocol to upload and store chat messages with certain keywords, and we are now inquiring with TOM to find out why the protocol changed."
One dissident, who declined to be identified, said he only ever communicated by voice and always used Skype rather than the Chinese-language TOM-Skype. "It's harder for me because I don't speak English, but I still write messages in Chinese. However, I have always warned my friends to be very careful when they create an account to make sure they go onto Skype and are not directed to TOM-Skype. I just always thought the US one should be safer."
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