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London Ambulance staff handle 999 calls on paper following software upgrade glitch

Kathleen Hall

The London Ambulance Service was forced to note down 999 calls on paper after an IT upgrade caused a technical glitch yesterday (8 June 2011).

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) switched to the manual process at 10am after experiencing problems with an upgrade to Command Point software from Northrop Grunman. The LAS moved back to its original computer system at 1.30 am on 9 June 2011.

An LAS spokesman said the ambulance service would continue with the upgrade once it had identified the technical problems behind the fault. In the meantime it will continue to use its in-house developed system, CTAK.

"The pen and paper system is tried and tested, but is not as quick as the computer system. We waited until the early hours to switch back to our old system, as that is the time we receive the least amount of calls, minimising the impact on the public," he said.

"At all times during this process our priority was to answer all incoming 999 calls, and get an appropriate response to those patients with the most serious illnesses and injuries.

"We will be conducting a comprehensive review into the issues which occurred during the introduction of our new system over the last 48 hours," said the LAS in a statement.


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