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The Guardian view on the NHS and Palantir: the case for this data deal looks weak | Editorial

The Guardian view on the NHS and Palantir: the case for this data deal looks weak | Editorial

The Guardian view on the NHS and Palantir: the case for this data deal looks weak | Editorial
Nov 28, 2023 1 min, 6 secs

If data-sharing technology can be used to improve the NHS, by boosting workflows and making the use of operating theatres and other resources more efficient, this will be a good thing for the service and the public.

Its founder, Peter Thiel, backed Donald Trump in 2016, and the non-profit group Foxglove has launched a campaign and is threatening legal action to block a deal for which it claims the public’s consent has not been sought.

But public confidence was damaged by previous IT failures, and issues around privacy and trust are acknowledged by leading figures, including the NHS Confederation’s chief executive, Matthew Taylor, who support data-sharing in principle.

But the junior doctors’ dispute continues, while waiting lists are at record levels and workforce shortages will be worsened if Rishi Sunak follows through on a pledge to reduce immigration by changing visa rules (almost 58,000 care workers moved to the UK in 2022-23, while the number of NHS staff with a nationality other than British rose by 45,000).

The health system’s most serious problems are long-term underinvestment, the rising burden of chronic disease and a depleted, demoralised workforce.

But there is a risk that the opaque negotiations and clumsy announcement of a scheme whose rationale has not been properly explained or scrutinised will undermine rather than strengthen trust in public services.

Summarized by 365NEWSX ROBOTS

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