NHS chief apologises over spoof Hitler video

The head of the NHS has been criticised after posting a spoof video comparing a senior colleague to Hitler Credit: Luap Lanreb/YouTube

The head of the NHS has come under fire for posting a spoof YouTube clip which lampoons the service's under-fire data project and portrays a senior colleague as Hitler.

Sir David Nicholson was forced to apologise after tweeting a link to one of a long line of spoofs using footage from the film Downfall.

The video poked fun at Tim Kelsey, national director for patients and information, and his flagship Care.data scheme which has suffered delays in implementation.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was also mocked in the video for "hiding behind a tree" over the problems with the service, while the character playing Hitler was shown to say that the scheme had "always been about making money!"

Sir David's tweet has now been deleted, and he later used the social media site to apologise to Mr Kelsey.

Sir David - who is due to retire next month after surviving a sustained campaign to quit or be sacked following the Mid Staffordshire scandal - received criticism from both sides of the political spectrum for his tweet.

Sir David Nicholson received criticism from both sides of the political spectrum for posting the video Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

Shadow health minister Andrew Gwynne told the Evening Standard: "There can be no excuse for showing Jeremy Hunt and his top officials in such an offensive video."

Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie called the post "absolutely shocking" and added: "This is another reason why he should have gone a long time ago."

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.

"He knows his team is doing a really important and complex job for patients, one which is critical for the NHS."

Another still shows the character playing Hitler criticising the care.data system Credit: Luap Lanreb/YouTube

Care.data, the scheme due to include date of birth, gender and NHS number in new national records, was due to be rolled out in NHS in April.

However, it has now been delayed after warnings that patients would not know how their data is used outside the NHS.

For his part, this is what Mr Kelsey had to say about the whole affair.

Read: NHS admits new Care.data could undermine confidentiality