This is what I was hoping to debate with Louis. The government wants to give his spy-tech firm, Palantir, the contract to manage a vast new ‘Federated Data Platform’. If it goes ahead as envisaged, the FDP will be the largest single point of access to patient data this country has ever seen. It’s a pity it was left to me and Dr Marcus Baw, a GP and health IT specialist, to debate this system – because there’s so much the government won’t say about it. Like exactly what shape it will take or what purposes it will eventually serve; what it will eventually cost; who will have access; or how patient choice and consent will be honoured.
The proposed system is vast. The aim is for it to sweep in hospital, GP, even social care records – and make all this patient data available to government planners and others.