David Cameron has blasted the government's £12.4bn NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT), saying that ministers have fallen for the sales pitch of IT suppliers and consultants who have cut corners.
"I have said before that in their drive to 'modernise' the NHS, Labour have not improved it, so much as ripped out its heart and installed a malfunctioning computer instead," said the Conservative Party leader, at a speech at Trafford General Hospital.
"It is one of the most shameful and disgraceful aspects of Labour's record: the way they fall for the sales patter of the management consultants and the big IT firms, who make them think they can cut corners to success."
He said that the NHS is suffering from shoddy jargon-ridden schemes served up on Microsoft Powerpoint and swallowed whole by the people who are supposed to be custodians of the health service and custodians of taxpayers' money.
He also criticised the Government's proposal for a vast, centralised, NHS database saying that recent events have shown how dangerous government IT systems can be if mis-managed.
"Of course we need different NHS professionals to be able to access medical records. But those records should be owned by the patient, and stored locally, under the control and protection of his GP. We need local servers with interoperability," said Cameron.