NHS IT needs overhaul, say Tories
The Conservatives have said they would create huge cost savings for the NHS by scrapping plans for a central database of patient records.
Their plans would include electronic medical notes being stored locally by GPs and hospitals and patients having online access to their medical records.
They also say NHS trusts would have more choice over new computer systems.
The government said patients were already benefiting from the progress that had been made in online records.
Speaking on Sunday Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said proposals to allow NHS patients access to their records online would give people "greater control over their own health care".
Every patient would have a username and password and IT firms such as Google or Microsoft could host the information.
Users could update their medical records with information like blood pressure and cholesterol levels, he added.
The £12bn NHS IT programme in England has been dogged by problems since its launch in 2002.
It is the world's largest civilian IT project and aims to replace hundreds of different computer systems in hospitals and GP practices with new, compatible versions that will allow NHS staff anywhere in England to access patients' medical records.
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