Ben Bradshaw MP

Ben Bradshaw is Labour MP for Exeter. Former Minister of State, Department of Health. Former Minister for the South West. He was born in 1960 and educated at Thorpe St Andrew School, Norwich. He studied German and Italian at Sussex University and the Freiburg University in Germany. Before his election he was a journalist, having trained on the Express & Echo in Exeter before working for BBC Radio Devon for three years. In 1989 he was appointed the BBC's Berlin correspondent and in 1991 returned to Britain to work as a reporter and presenter for Radio 4's World at One and World This Weekend. He is also a member of the CMS Select Committee.

Leveson Inquiry

Bradshaw supports the recommendations put forward by Leveson

Does the Deputy Prime Minister agree that it would be a betrayal of the victims if we allowed the Leveson report to be kicked into the long grass, which his exactly what has happened to every previous report into press standards? If he cannot persuade the Prime Minister, will he and his party work with us and the significant number of Conservatives who support the Leveson report to implement its proposals as quickly as possible?[1]


Westminster Hall debate Electronic Patient Record - 21 February 2008

"I acknowledged that there had been some delays and wish to clarify that in the context of the Summary Care Record, which is what I was addressing in that part of the debate [in the House of Commons].
"The delays were partly caused because of the need to secure consensus of the medical profession on its contents. The medical profession has been divided, with GPs typically favouring less or no clinical information being placed in the national summary record and hospital doctors wishing there to be more."

How ever later Ben Bradshaw made a clarifying statement to Computer Weekly, saying

"I acknowledged that there had been some delays and wish to clarify that in the context of the Summary Care Record, which is what I was addressing in that part of the debate [in the House of Commons].
"The delays were partly caused because of the need to secure consensus of the medical profession on its contents. The medical profession has been divided, with GPs typically favouring less or no clinical information being placed in the national summary record and hospital doctors wishing there to be more."

Answering a written question on if it was lawful for the police to be provided with the identity of individuals whose medical records contain specific information. Ben Bradshaw said Medical Records: Databases 10 December 2007

Data from the secondary uses service will only be disclosed to the police where it is in the overriding public interest, for example to prevent, or support detection of, extremely serious crimes, where there is statutory authority, or where the courts have made an order requiring disclosure.

Copyright reform

"It's very effective lobbying from the technology industries. So far as those companies are concerned, we're an obstruction to their rapacious business practices, [...] But if the only thing you create is advertising revenue, then it's a very poor world. I think it's pure commercial greed."[2]


2008-12-30 - The Guardian - Patients to rate and review their GPs on NHS website
Author: John Carvel
Summary: Ben Bradshaw, the health minister, wants to make it easy for patients in England to rate their family doctor's competence and bedside manner on bulletin boards on the NHS Choices website. Officials have been told to have the appropriate software ready next year. Bradshaw told the Guardian that he wants the site to do for healthcare what Amazon has done for the book trade and Trip Adviser for the travel industry: providing positive and negative feedback, warts and all, from consumers.
2008-12-30 - The Register - Health minister promises Rate-My-Doc! service
Author: John Oates
Summary: Ben Bradshaw, the UK health minister, wants the NHS Choices website to include a rate-your-doctor section where patients can mark their GP's skills, bedside manner and even post anonymous comments. ... Bradshaw seemed not to know of several websites which offer similar ratings and comments on GPs ... Confusingly Bradshaw also said the service would be moderated so as to not identify individual doctors or nurses which makes the whole thing even more pointless.
2008-11-14 - The Register - Capita gets £60m deal to merge NHS websites
Author: John Oates
Summary: Capita has launched the bundled-together NHS websites - NHS Direct and NHS Choices. ... Health minister Ben Bradshaw said: "This single site will make it easier for the public to find reliable health information quickly and will give relevant and accurate advice that will help them to make their own decisions and choices about their health and healthcare."
2008-11-10 - Computer Weekly - NPfIT minister was wrong in reply on records leaving NHS
Author: Tony Collins
Summary: Ben Bradshaw, the minister in charge of the NPfIT, was unwittingly incorrect when replying to a question by a Labour MP, David Taylor, who is a former IT manager. Computer Weekly had revealed that nearly 300 million confidential medical records have transferred officially from the government to an academic organisation outside the NHS. But in the House of Commons on 4 November 2008, Bradshaw gave the impression to David Taylor that all the records were anonymized before leaving the NHS. This is incorrect.
2008-10-29 - Computer Weekly - NHS defers 2008 e-record go-lives - and FOI disclosures
Summary: NHS trusts have deferred plans to go-live this year with electronic record systems under the £12.7bn National Programme for IT [NPfIT]. The deferral of major roll-outs of the Care Records Service comes after calamitous introductions of the system at hospitals in London and the south of England. ... St Mary's has cancelled several go-live dates this year, the latest in August 2008. It is among several NHS trusts that have delayed plans to implement the Care Records Service until next year at the earliest. No major implementations under the NPfIT are expected this year, contrary to undertakings given to Parliament by NPfIT minister Ben Bradshaw.
2008-10-21 - e health insider - Lorenzo stalled at Morecambe Bay
Summary: The latest deadline for the implementation of Lorenzo at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust has passed and there is currently no go-live date. Health minister Ben Bradshaw indicated that Morecambe Bay would become the first large NHS hospital to use the first version of iSoft's Lorenzo electronic patient record by the end of the summer. However, there is no published timetable for the key National Programme for IT in the NHS software to go live in its first acute reference site. The software is eventually due to be used across three-fifths of the English NHS. The latest delays to the first version of Lorenzo will innevitably push back the planned schedule for
2008-06-19 - Computer Weekly - Secret report on NPfIT Lorenzo: hundreds of issues
Author: Tony Collins
Summary: Specialists preparing software for a roll-out to NHS hospitals this year under the £12.7bn NHS's National Programme for IT (NPfIT) have been trying to fix hundreds of issues in the initial release, according to a confidential report seen by Computer Weekly. .... The Lorenzo "Care Records Service" is already running four years behind schedule, according to a report published last month by the National Audit Office in May. ... Ben Bradshaw, the minister in charge of the NPfIT, has told Parliament that Lorenzo will start rolling out to the NHS this year. Morecambe Bay Hospitals NHS Trust was due to be the first hospital to go live with the basic version, Lorenzo Release I, on 16 June 2008 but it has postponed the go-live, possibly until next month. A new date has yet to be set, its spokeswoman told Computer Weekly. ... The confidential report says there were, at one point this year, more than 1,000 issues in Lorenzo release 1.
2008-04-09 - Computer Weekly - NPfIT minister "clarifies" incorrect statement to Parliament
Author: Tony Collins
Summary: Ben Bradshaw, the minister in charge of the NHS’s National Programme for IT [NPfIT], has responded to a post on this blog about his having made an incorrect statement to the House of Commons. On 21 February 2008, in a Commons debate on the Health Committee's report on electronic health records, Bradshaw cleared suppliers to the NPfIT of any responsibility for delays. He told the Commons that the delays have not been because of problems with supply, delivery or systems. ... We pointed out to NHS Connecting for Health, which runs part of the NPfIT, that the boards of NHS trusts have criticised the programme's suppliers for delays; and penalties have been levied against some suppliers. Now Ben Bradshaw, in a clarifying statement to Computer Weekly, says the delays were "partly" because of the need to secure consensus among clinicians over what medical details should be included in the Summary Care Record. His statement excludes a repetition of his assertion to Parliament that the delays were not because of problems with supply, delivery or systems. ... On this blog I'd said it was inconceivable that Ben Bradshaw would knowingly mislead the House of Commons, but there were questions about the accuracy or completeness of his briefings. We should be able to trust what ministers tell the House of Commons on the NPfIT.
2008-03-07 - Computer Weekly - New ID cards timetable - as robust as NPfIT pledges?
Author: Tony Collins
Summary: Bradshaw told Parliament: "The hon. Gentleman asked about the progress with Cerner. The initial release is live in eight hospitals in the south and three hospitals in London. The next hospital in the south is due to be Bath in May; the next hospital in London will be Barts, which is due in the next two weeks." But a spokeswoman for Bath's Royal United Hospital NHS Trust, where Cerner is due to be installed, said yesterday (6 March 2008) that there were no definite plans to go live in May. Indeed she indicated that go-live was unlikely to happen in the near future. ... Ben Bradshaw had made further fearless predictions in his speech to the House of Commons on 21 February 2008. He spoke about a much-awaited Release 1 of the "Lorenzo" care records software, which is due to be supplied in the north, east and west of England by local service provider CSC. But E-Health Insider reported yesterday (6 March 2008) that the Lorenzo delivery dates for Morecambe Bay, South Birmingham Primary Care Trust and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have slipped.
2008-02-29 - Kable - DoH IT projects overshoot budgets
Summary: Five of 15 IT projects run by the Department of Health and its agencies are costing £247,000 more than expected. Health minister Ben Bradshaw produced the figures in response to a written parliamentary question from Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable.
2008-02-28 - Computer Weekly - Police to be allowed searches of national database of NHS patient records
Author: Tony Collins
Summary: It went largely unnoticed but the minister for the NHS's National Programme for IT, Ben Bradshaw, has confirmed that data on a central database of millions of confidential health records will be made available to police where there is an "overriding public interest". The phrase "overriding public interest" is not defined.
2008-02-04 - Computer Weekly - Minister defensive over Cerner NPfIT NHS sites
Author: Tony Collins
Summary: When asked about the NHS's National Programme for IT NPfIT, ministerial advisers can use Parliamentary replies to make light of the concerns of clinicians and others. And this is what happened when Worthing MP Peter Bottomley put a question about Cerner sites to Ben Bradshaw, who's the latest in a series of ministers to be put in charge of the NPfIT.
2008-01-01 - Computer Weekly - NPfIT harmed by poor communications
Author: Tony Collins
Summary: The idea of the Care Records Service is to give 50 million people in England an e-record that can be accessed wherever it's needed. Doctors support the idea even if some have lost faith in the ability of the Department of Health and NHS Connecting for Health to make it happen. The Department of Health's public communications over Weston began in 2006 when it tried to use the trust for political advantage. This backfired. ... Trust after trust has gone live with Cerner only to find that problems haven't been fixed. But the Department cannot come clean. It doesn't have the information to ensure that trusts don't repeat mistakes of other trusts. It collects abstruse statistics which can be converted to common currency for use by writers of NPfIT press releases and ministerial speeches. But the NPfIT minister Ben Bradshaw has been unable to answer questions by Worthing West MP Peter Bottomley on the problems and extra costs locally of Cerner go-lives. He says the Department of Health doesn't collect such information centrally. Last week another Bottomley question on the costs locally of NPfIT-related problems went unanswered when Bradshaw told the House of Commons: "I do not believe that any useful purpose would be served by attempting to cost the collation of information unless this were required for essential policy or operational purposes."
2007-09-24 - E-Health Insider - Uncertainty over legality of NHS Care Records Service
Summary: Health minister Ben Bradshaw has refused to release information on the legality of the NHS Care Records Service (NCRS) and played down suggestions the NHS database will breach European law. Bradshaw was responding to Jeremy Wright MP who had contacted the health minister on behalf of one of his constituents Dr Paul Thornton, a GP in Warwickshire who is campaigning against the consent model for the NCRS.
2007-09-21 - Pulse - EU law could scupper Care Record
Summary: Health minister Ben Bradshaw has admitted the rollout of the NHS Care Record could be banned under European law. ... writing to Conservative MP for Rugby and Kenilworth, Jeremy Wright, Mr Bradshaw said the Department of Health still disputed Professor Korff's claim, although he refused to reveal details of the Govern-ment's legal advice.
2007-09-13 - Kable - MPs criticise e-health record progress
Summary: The electronic patient record project needs better planning, more consultation and a new timetable, say MPs. A report from the Commons health select committee on the e-patient record, a key project in the 10-year NHS national programme for IT, highlights a series of problems with the management, security and timescale of the scheme. The role of Connecting for Health (CfH), the agency responsible for the national IT programme, needs to be increasingly modified. It needs more focus on setting and monitoring national technical standards, if the development of the e-patient record is to be successful, claims the report, published on 13 September 2007. "Professionally developed datasets and agreed approaches to the structure and content of detailed records are urgently needed for each of the main clinical specialties and for use in a range of different care settings," the report says.
2007-09-13 - Health Committee - The Electronic Patient Record
Summary: Increasing access to patient data also brings new challenges for safeguarding patient privacy, however. There is a difficult balance to be struck between the need to protect privacy and the opportunities for research, between safeguarding individual rights and promoting the public good. There are also a number of weaknesses within current access and governance systems. In particular, during the inquiry questions were raised about the extent to which pseudonymisation of data should be relied upon to protect privacy. We recommend that the Department of Health conduct a full review of both national and local procedures for controlling access to electronic health data for 'secondary uses'.
2007-09-05 - Kable - BMA call to halt e-record roll out
Summary: The British Medical Association's (BMA) chair, Dr Hamish Meldrum, has called for a halt to further implementation of the NHS summary care record, beyond six early adopter sites, until an independent review has been completed. In a letter to Ben Bradshaw, the minister responsible for the National Programme for IT (NPfIT), Dr Meldrum says that at a recent BMA meeting, doctors from primary and secondary care expressed their frustration with the programme and want a public enquiry to address problems. "I would like to take this opportunity to express the BMA's hopes, to raise our concerns and to suggest recommendations as to what the programme should deliver to support patient care. I hope this will help inform debate at this crucial time for redefining the future of the programme," Dr Meldrum said.

2007-07-23 - Kable - Bradshaw assumes NPfIT minister's mantle
Summary: Ben Bradshaw MP is the new minister of state in charge of the NHS IT programme. His role as minister of state for health services was announced by the Department of Health (DoH) on 20 July 2007. It sees him take over responsibility for Connecting for Health and the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) from Lord Philip Hunt, who moved to the Ministry of Justice in June.
2007-07-16 - Computer Weekly - Ben Bradshaw is expected to be appointed as ministerial spokesman for the NHS's National Programme for IT - the 13th so far
Author: Tony Collins
Summary:Ministers who are appointed as spokespeople for the NHS's National Programme for IT [NPfIT] come and go. This is the roll call so far: John Reid, John Hutton, Lord Hunt, Liam Byrne, Hazel Blears, David Lammey, Lord Warner, Caroline Flint, Rosie Winterton, Andy Burnham, Ivan Lewis, Patricia Hewitt.