NHS boss apologises for tweeting Hitler video mocking Government health database scheme

Sir David Nicholson posted a link to the film mocking Tim Kelsey and Jeremy Hunt

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The Independent Online

NHS England chief Sir David Nicholson issued an apology on Friday after he tweeted a satirical Hitler YouTube video mocking Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and a senior colleague.

In a move that shocked health workers, Sir David posted a link to the film, which features scenes of Hitler in the movie Downfall with subtitles jokingly portraying Tim Kelsey, the national director for patients and information, as the Nazi leader.

The four-minute clip parodies the Government’s flagship scheme to create a controversial NHS database, which has raised concerns over privacy.

The video opens with Hitler being told via subtitles that “problems” have arisen because people have asked Parliament to investigate the “meaningless” care.data leaflets.

In response he says: “Parliament? But Jeremy Hunt is right behind us."

He is then told: "Jeremy Hunt is hiding behind a tree.

"The Government is saying nothing. They are all hiding behind trees."

Titled “Tim Kelsey discovers that care.data is in trouble”, the clip, which was posted on Tuesday, has been viewed over 3,000 times.

It depicts the database scheme as a money spinner aimed to deceive patients and raise funds for groups including pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

It says: “We could take it, package it, and make millions and millions.

“People weren’t supposed to think about it.

“They were supposed to believe it was all for their own good.”

Sir David posted the tweet on Thursday, before apologising the following day and removing it from his account.

"@tkelsey1 sorry this is what happens when you give an old bloke with an over developed sense of humour new tech you’re doing a great job X," he messaged.

But shadow health minister Andrew Gwynne told the London Evening Standard: "There can be no excuse for showing Jeremy Hunt and his top officials in such an offensive video."

Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie added: "This is absolutely shocking. He has done a very good job in portraying complete contempt not only for a co-worker but also the Secretary of State who has been so loyally defending him.

"This is another reason why he should have gone a long time ago."

A Department of Health spokesman told the Evening Standard: "Sir David’s tweets are a matter for Sir David."