Medical leaders sign open letter praising Federated Data Platform pilots

NHS England has published an open letter signed by the medical directors of NHS trusts running Federated Data Platform pilots, ahead of the expected award of the controversial £480m contract to US firm Palantir.

The letter stated:

“Our endorsement of the FDP is based on our extensive experience and involvement in pilot initiatives, where we have witnessed the potential benefits of this technology in optimising medical practices, improving patient outcomes and ensuring the security of healthcare data.”

Last week, Digital Health News reported that a request to medical directors to sign the open letter was sent by Vin Diwaker, acting transformation director at NHS England.

In an email to the potential signatories, Diwaker stated:

“To build trust and gain the confidence of key stakeholders and the public, it is imperative that we can demonstrate that there is clinical support for a federated data platform and that it will help improve services for patients.”

US firm Palantir is bidding for the huge contract in partnership with Accenture. Pilots of its Foundry software are being rolled out across many hospital trusts. However, it was revealed back in March that Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital and University Hospital Plymouth NHS Trust both suspended pilots of Palantir's Foundry software, with nine other trusts pausing the pilots.

Back in June, The Doctors Association and tech justice non-profit organisation Foxglove released a document which highlighted seven key risks associated with awarding Palantir the contract.

View the letter in full and a list of signatories

Guidance about the Federated Data Platform has been updated and can be viewed here.