NHS chief Sir David Nicholson's experimentations with Twitter cause upset again as he posts a spoof video comparing one of his top officials to Hitler
NHS chief Sir David Nicholson has apologised for tweeting a spoof video which ridiculed one his top officials, poked fun at Jeremy Hunt and portrayed the health service’s controversial GP data extraction scheme as a conspiracy to make “millions and millions” from Big Pharma.
The video, a scene from the film Downfall and given alternative subtitles, depicts Tim Kelsey, the architect of the care.data scheme, as Adolf Hitler, and imagines his furious reaction to news that the public are turning against his plans.
Sir David, who will retire as chief executive of NHS England in April, joined Twitter in January and has revealed an unexpected sense of humour in his output so far – but also a tendency to put his foot in it.
His latest tweet caused offence among some and was swiftly deleted. Sir David followed it up with an apology to Mr Kelsey, NHS England’s director for patients and information, adding: “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” [sic].
In the video, the latest in a long line of satirical “Downfall parodies”, Hitler reacts to news that the care.data scheme has run into problems saying “Jeremy Hunt is right behind us.”
His officers respond: “Mr Kelsey: Jeremy Hunt is hiding behind a tree” – a reference to an allegation raised at the Leveson Inquiry that Mr Hunt hid behind a tree to avoid journalists at an evening reception attended by Rupert and James Murdoch.
The Department of Health is understood to be concerned that NHS England has mismanaged the launch of care.data. The scheme, which would see patient records from every GP surgery in the country collected into a central database, was delayed by six months amid concerns that the public had not been adequately informed about it. It has also emerged that medical records have previously been wrongly given to the insurance industry by the NHS.
As Hitler launches into a tirade in the video, the subtitles read: “This was supposed to be easy. People were supposed to give us all their data. We could take it package it up and make millions and millions. Big Pharma have been waiting. The insurance companies have been waiting.”
Previous tweets from Sir David have included an exchange with the operator of a parody account called “Jeremy_Twunt” in which the chief executive of the NHS described himself as “your bit of rough” after being mocked for attending Bristol Polytechnic. He also posted a picture of himself standing outside a Marks and Spencer’s store alongside the words: “First day of my new assignment v excited”, after M&S boss Sir Stuart Rose was appointed to a lead an NHS inquiry.
A spokesperson for NHS England said: "Sir David very much hopes his tweet did not cause any offence, that was not his intention at all.”
Mr Kelsey responded by tweeting: “Ok, my view on the YouTube film: funny but we risk underestimating how important data-sharing is for the NHS. Hitler was not a joke.”
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Tube strike July 2015: Is it still on? Everything you need to know about the industrial action
Eiji Tsuburaya: Godzilla co-creator honoured in today's interactive Google Doodle
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...