The possibility that the Conservatives might transfer NHS health records to private sector internet providers such as Google or Microsoft has been dismissed as speculation.

But Tory leader David Cameron raised the possibility of bypassing the “unresponsive national IT system” that “isn’t really working very well”.

He told BBC Breakfast: “For every penny we could save… we could put money into nurses and doctors and patient care.

“I don’t accept the principle that the safest place for information is with the government, because actually, if we think about it, who has lost all our data recently? It was Revenue and Customs, the government. I don’t accept that somehow our data is safe when it is the government that is looking after it.”

A Tory spokesman had previously said that the NHS IT system is being reviewed by experts hired by them, and that they would be reporting back in a “few weeks”. He said: “There is still an independent review ongoing, so it is just speculation at this stage.”

The Times has reported the Conservatives as saying they would replace Labour’s “centrally determined and unresponsive national IT system”, and allow private companies to handle patients’ notes.