Health secretary, Jeremy Hunt is a big advocate for the digitisation of the NHS, however this did not excuse him for using his smart phone at a recent parliamentary debate.
During a debate about NHS bursaries the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, brought Mr Hunt to order after he was caught using his mobile in a way the speaker said was “discourteous”.
Bercow said: “I do very gently say that to sit on the bench… fiddling ostentatiously with an electronic device defies the established convention of the house – that such devices should be used without impairing parliamentary decorum. They are impairing parliamentary decorum.
“It’s a point so blindingly obvious that only an extraordinarily clever and sophisticated person could fail to grasp it.”
This is not the first time that the appropriate use of technology has confused the health secretary. According to reports last year, Hunt claimed that the NHS could be made safer by taking medical decisions away from doctors and allowing computers and protocols to decide on certain aspects of care instead.
However, Hunt rationalised this opinion by saying a digital NHS will: “Allow doctors to spend their time in areas where you really do need their judgment.”
Last year the health secretary also pledged £4bn towards helping the digitisation of the NHS. Hunt told Andrew Marr in a BBC interview: “We know that IT is not without its pitfalls, but proper investment can save time for doctors and nurses and means they can spend more time with patients – this is a much needed investment.”