Examples of confidential "Major Incidents" reported after go-live of NPfIT systems

The following are separate events reported as “Major Incidents” to NHS Connecting for the Health, which runs the NHS’s National Programme for IT [NPfIT]. The particular incidents mentioned below were categorised as “Severity One”.


A definition of “severity one” was given by the Health Minister Caroline Flint in the House of Commons on 12 October 2006. She said severity one was a “service failure which, in the reasonable opinion of NHS Connecting for Health, the contractor, or a National Health Service system/service user, has the potential to:

– have a significant adverse impact on the provision of the service to a large number of users; or

– have a significant adverse impact on the delivery of patient care to a large number of patients; or

– cause significant financial loss and/or disruption to NHS Connecting for Health, or the NHS; or

– result in any material loss or corruption of health data, or in the provision of incorrect data to an end user.”

Computer Weekly asked Connecting for Health whether it publishes details of major incidents. It replied that it does publish them. But we could find no evidence for this. The incidents below are based on internal unpublished documents.

Each description is a separate major incident, usually on different dates between October 2006 and the end of January 2007.

– Users cannot view PACS [Picture Archiving and Communications Systems] images

– Users cannot log onto Radiology Information System

– High severity incident on BT spine

– Users cannot log onto Radiology Information System

– Users cannot view PACS images

– Users of Radiology Information System cannot gain access

– Users cannot access to Radiology Information System

– Users cannot transfers images to PACS

– The Radiology Information System is not available

Users reporting application crashes

Choose and Book messaging is not available

Multiple sites affected by PACS system not being available

Related articles:

1) Duplicate patient records on Choose and Book, 200 major incidents in four months, and unnecessary NPfIT secrecy

2) Duplicate patient records in Manchester – the risks and how it happened

3) Is government trying to control information on problems after NPfIT go- lives?

4) National newspapers follow up Computer Weekly’s article

5) Connecting for Heath attacks NHS users

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