NHS IT problems, 999 crash and Evening Standard

London Ambulance Service reverted to pen and paper yesterday after a system crash which was caused by a hardware fault.

Scores of paramedics complained on internet message boards about the crash.  It’s said that the problem took more than 12 hours to repair.

The Evening Standard today reported today on the ambulance service crash and followed up an article on ComputerWeekly.com and the IT Projects blog about the troubled go-live of the Cerner Millennium LC1 system at the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust.

A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said that there were “technical problems in our control room and work was undertaken to resolve this issue”. He added:

“We identified the cause to be an isolated hardware issue. The faulty part was replaced and the system has been restored. During the intervening period we reverted to the tried and tested process of recording details of emergency calls on paper and then passing information to ambulance crews and rapid responders over the radio system.”

Paramedic Mark Lione was quoted in the Evening Standard as saying: “We have gone back to basics on the road. Usually the calls are automatically dispatched to the nearest ambulance but we have gone back to the system we used five years ago, which will inevitably take longer.”


Report into the serious and extended failure of London Ambulance Service systems – 1992 

Evening Standard article [today] – 6 August 2008

Problems hit Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust – Computer Weekly article

Pioneering London hospital hit by crashes and delays – IT Projects blog