60% of London NHS trusts lack disaster recovery systems

Patients in London could be at risk if hospital IT fails, as 60% of London NHS trusts lack disaster recovery systems, according to a report.

Patients in London could be at huge risk if hospital IT fails, as 60% of London NHS trusts do not have disaster recovery systems, according to a report.

Speaking at the BCS Health Informatics conference, Dionne Hilton, programme manager at London NHS Commercial Support Unit, presented the findings of the body’s corporate services benchmarking report. NHS London spoke to a total of 30 trusts across the capital about back-office functions, which included IT, finance, human resources and estates.

Hilton said the question about disaster recovery systems included corporate IT such as email and software.

Asked whether those trusts without disaster recovery backup intended to implement continuity systems she said: “That is what we are trying to find out, we are trying to help them. It is quite shocking that as many as 60% don’t have it.”

She added: “There was a massive range, from organisations that were doing particularly well in efficient use of their back-office systems to others not faring as well. We found overall that foundation trusts are doing better than non-foundation trusts.”

An NHS IT manager attending the session, who asked not to be named, said: “I’m very surprised by this finding. We are a foundation trust and have a very robust disaster recovery system in place. I almost feel that this figure can’t be right somehow it’s so shocking.”

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