Speaking at the BCS Health IT Conference (HC2014) in Manchester last week, Kelsey claimed the new scheme was the beginning of something that without, the NHS won’t be around for much longer.
He said that while he has seen trends of local health services using data, this needs to begin happening on a national scale.
“The social movement seen in so many other parts of our life, where the customer takes control of their own destiny with data technology, is already happening in health care. The challenge is to take the positive decision to empower those local decisions,” Kelsey claimed.
To emphasise his point, the director used the example of a GP in Tower Hamlets that had been sharing routine data about immunisation of children.
The area is disadvantaged with a low immunisation rate and high childhood disease - but by sharing data, immunisation rates rose from 74% to 95% and it is now close to the eradication of the disease.
Kelsey claims this is one way sharing data can have a positive impact, but says that Trusts around the country are slow in the uptake of this practice.
However, the care.data programme was delayed by six months in February, following criticisms that the public had not properly been made aware of the changes.
According to Kelsey, the public needs to be informed that their patient data will be used for the purposes of improving healthcare, claiming that sharing information has already provided great benefits for the NHS.
He added that it was a “shaming fact” that the health service has little knowledge of the quality of patient care at a GP level, or how this patient may interact with a hospital.