One result of the floods is that a GP practice in North East Lincolnshire is working from a neighbouring practice, and another is working from a local hospital’s accident and emergency department.
They’re able top operate by way of BT’s “N3” network linked to a remote data centre. Other GP practices have been spared closure because their clinical data was held remotely.
This is one of the advantages of the NHS’s National Programme for IT [NPfIT]. Part of the programme involves storing medical records at data centres run by NPfIT local service providers.
And so, for some GP practices in North East Lincolnshire, the deliverer from the floods was TPP, an NPfIT supplier of the SystmOne GP system. TPP is a subcontractor to CSC, the main local service provider to the national programme.
Says SystmOne on its website: “Patients’ clinical data recorded on SystmOne is held safely in a secure data centre and not in the practice itself. In the past, flooding would have meant closing the surgery, which would have had serious consequences for business continuity resulting in appointments, patient clinical history information and prescriptions not being available.”
TPP does not, however, name the GP practices it has helped to save from the floods, or give details of the costs, or any of the complications of, for example, setting up a surgery at the local hospital A&E department .