17 January 2024
Palantir Contract

I note your concerns about the awarding of contracts for the proposed FDP, a new data tool to connect and integrate patient and other data sources from across the health system. The FDP platform will allow NHS organisations to bring together operational data, currently stored in separate systems to ensure that NHS staff can access the information they need in one safe and secure platform.

Let me assure you that the safety and security of patient data has been placed at the front and centre of this new system.  Only authorised users will be granted access to data for approved purposes, such as NHS staff, those supporting them like administrators or bed managers, as well as social care staff supporting the move from hospital care.

In addition, the provider of the software will not hold or have access to NHS data for their own purposes, other than as directed by NHS.  The provider will not control the data in the platform or be permitted to access, use or share for their own purposes, and the contract places strict conditions around confidentiality. Data will not leave the UK, as Palantir has committed to invest in a data hub here.

NHS England has also awarded a contract to a separate provider IQVIA, for Privacy Enhancing Technologies, as an additional safeguard to enhance the security of data used in the FDP.  It is also important to note that the FDP has been endorsed by NHS leaders, having been successfully piloted across 26 Trusts in England over recent months. The FDP has supported pilot Trusts to improve patient care: reducing waiting times, reducing discharge delays and faster diagnosis.  On average, the FDP has allowed pilot trusts to treat 120 additional patients a month due to greater theatre utilisation.

I hope that this provides assurance that the new FDP will be safe, secure and has the potential to help deliver real improvements to patient care across the NHS in England.