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NHS: Identity Cards

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 23 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) with reference to the Answer of 29 June 2005, Official Report, column 1608W on identity cards, to the hon. and learned Member for Harborough, what the conclusions were of his Department’s consideration of the costs and benefits of using identity cards within the National Health Service, including the cost of card readers, with particular reference to the NHS Connecting for Health National Programme for IT; (200111)

(2) what stage has been reached in the development of the proposed NHS card referred to in section 2.21 of the NHS Improvement Plan, published on 24 June 2004;

(3) with reference to the Answer of 27 February 2006, Official Report, column 439W, on the European Health Insurance Card, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on links between (a) an NHS card and (b) Connecting for Health, and the identity cards programme.

It is too early in the process to make any conclusions of the costs and benefits of using identity cards within the national health service.

There are no current plans to introduce an NHS card, although this will be kept under review.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State meets the Home Secretary and other ministerial colleagues to discuss matters of common interest, including on occasion the National Identity Scheme.