John Pugh

From Nhs It Info

(Southport, Liberal Democrat - Member, Public Accounts Committee)

Parliamentary Question (15 Mar 2004)

"To ask the Secretary of State for Health if, prior to placing an order for a bespoke software office suite, the NHS will publish the details and results of the tendering process."

House of Commons Debate (2 May 2006)

"My local GPs have told me that they want to work co-operatively, to co-provide and fund new secondary care facilities, but they dare not because there are so many uncertainties about the effects of the choose and book system. The GPs might set up something for which there turned out to be no predictable demand, so their investment would go to waste."

Information Technology in the NHS: What Next? - by Richard Bacon MP and John Pugh MP (Sep 2006)

"The National Programme for IT in the NHS is currently sleepwalking towards disaster. It is far behind schedule. Projected costs have spiralled. Key software systems have little chance of ever working properly. Clinical staff are losing confidence in it. Many local Trusts are considering opting out of the programme altogether. These problems are a consequence of over-centralisation, over-ambition and an obsession with quick political fixes. But a reformed programme can still be rescued. Recent publicity and the shake-up already underway among Local Service Providers and key contractors provide an opportunity to do this, which must not be missed. What is required is to create a proper balance between central standards and central procurement where this offers demonstrable benefits, and local autonomy and responsibility. IT offers enormous potential benefits to the NHS, its staff and above all its patients. It is not too late to make sure that these benefits are properly delivered."

NHS computer system must not be a trojan horse for big brother state (1 Nov 2006)

"Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, John Pugh MP, has today written to the Health Secretary, the NHS Director of IT and the Information Commissioner asking for clarification on how far patients’ records can be shared with other government departments. This follows concerns expressed within the Department of Health, the National Audit Office and the media over the rights of patients to keep their medical history confidential.John Pugh said: "We need to know how access to this highly personal information is to be controlled, what rights the subject of that information has and how unnecessary intrusion into a very private sphere is to be identified and prevented. "Regardless of the limited amount of data held on the spine of the system, it will be technically possible to upload full digital records from GP surgeries and access that private information from all over the UK. "There will always be a way of tracing who has accessed information but some government agencies - most notably the police - can easily justify access, sometimes in circumstances where previously a court order had to be used. "The NHS IT system must not be a Trojan Horse ushering in a Big Brother state." This follows concerns expressed within the Department of Health, the National Audit Office and the media over the rights of patients to keep their medical history confidential. . ."

House of Commons Debate (2 Nov 2006)

"Given the new technical possibilities of the connecting for health programme, the prospect of other Departments and bodies such as the police gaining access to medical records and the express concerns of the Information Commissioner, will the Leader of the House press the Secretary of State for Health to make a statement further clarifying the legal ground rules for handling citizens' medical data?"

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