The Hampshire hospital system provides a good example of the failure to fully address privacy issues raised by information technology in the National Health Service (NHS). Because the then health minister held the constituency of Winchester (in Hampshire), new information technology systems were implemented more quickly there than elsewhere. These new systems had the feature that all laboratory tests ordered by general practitioners were entered into a hospital information system, which made them available to all staff on the wards and to consultants in the outpatient department. The stated goal was to cut down on duplicate testing; but the effect was that even highly sensitive matters such as HIV and pregnancy test results were no longer restricted to a handful of people (the general practitioner, practice secretary, the pathologist and the lab technician), but were widely available.
As with the London Ambulance Service, a timely warning of impending disaster was ignored, and the system duly went live on schedule. A nurse who had had a test done by her general practitioner complained to him after she found the result on the hospital system at Basingstoke where she worked; this caused outrage among local general practitioners and other medical staff, and may have contributed to the health minister's loss of his seat at the 1997 general election. The eventual outcome was that the relevant parts of the system were turned off at some hospitals.