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Doctors call for greater scrutiny of NHS bidders • The Register

by Ozva Admin
Doctors call for greater scrutiny of NHS bidders • The Register

A conference of family doctors has called on the UK doctors union to help vette bidders for the NHS Federated Data Platform (FDP) contract to ensure they have a positive record on safety, privacy and ethics.

Yesterday in London, the BMA Medical Committee hosted a conference of representatives from England’s Local Medical Committees (LMCs) who backed a motion to increase scrutiny of the controversial data system.

Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, chief executive of Cambridgeshire LMC, said recent news reports and commentary from the National Data Guardian (NDG) suggested “Palantir has no business involved” in the £360 million ($435 million), for which NHS England is scheduled to start procurement in the coming weeks.

“NHS England are still selling the line that the takeover has not started yet and there are other players bidding for the job,” said Dr Bramall-Stainer. “But the new NDG Dr. Nicola Byrne, as did her predecessor Dame Fiona Caldicott, continues to emphasize the importance of public and professional trust to the success of the FDP programme.

“There are such important lessons to be learned from history to avoid making those mistakes. NHS England has to continue [those lessons] in mind and commit to our critical issues, because this is so important to our patients and our profession.”

The conference-backed motion, which helps guide policy decisions by the BMA’s powerful Physicians Committee, calls for the union to work with NHS England to screen organizations submitting bids to ensure a demonstrably positive track record in security, privacy and ethics.

Mark Coley, leader of the GP Committee’s IT Policy Group, introduced the motion. He said Register: “We are not necessarily saying that we need [scrutinize bidders]but there must be scrutiny and it would be up to NHS England to come up with a process that wins the trust of the public and professionals alike.”

The England LMC conference said the BMA should work with NHS England on four existing secure data platforms backed by the BMA and the Royal College of GP that could provide “some or all of the requirements” for the FDP. He also said they should “mitigate vendor lock-in from the outset and ensure commitments to modern and open working methods.”

nhs england began discussing the FDP with suppliers in April. He said the platform would be “an essential enabler for transformational improvements across the NHS.”

The FDP would provide “an ecosystem of technologies and services deployed across the NHS in England.” The FDP will be based on five use cases. They include the health of the population and the perception of the person; care coordination (Comprehensive Care System); elective recovery; vaccines and immunization; and supply chain.

Integrated Care Systems (ICS) are new partnerships between NHS organizations meeting health and care needs in an area in the hope of coordinating services and planning improvements in population health. They are the cornerstone of the 2018 NHS Long Term Plan and were introduced in April 2021.

However, activists have warned that the acquisition could offer an unfair advantage to Palantir. The US data analysis company with links to the CIA and ICE immigration service began working with the NHS during the pandemic, accepting a £1 contract for its initial work, then a £23m contract ($28 million) without competition. that job has has been expanded and is set to join the FDP.

The deal is said to be a “must do” for Palantir, which has set out to poach senior figures in England’s NHS data science and artificial intelligence teams. Civil service rules determine that there must be a gap of six months between when civil servants leave public service and start lobbying. ®

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