Today health secretary Jeremy Hunt will call for the NHS to be paperless by 2018
As well as saving the NHS billions of pounds a year through better use of IT, this is part of a move to give people access
to their health records online.
I think this could be a potentially disastrous step. And it would appear those in charge are also reluctant – since the idea was first announced back in 2010, progress on the transition has been slow.
The NHS already gets plenty of stick - whether over patient waiting times, poor care or lack of staff - and this will be magnified if the public are given, as is proposed, the opportunity to report personal experiences and rate NHS organisations online. A lot of harm can be done if people are given free range to voice their opinions, with Twitter being a prime example.
The move could open up a bedpan of abuse and provoke personal attacks on individual members of staff.
Although some aspects of the initiative would indeed be useful, such as booking GP appointments online, I fear a system with no paper is a system fit for failure.