IT failure hits NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

IT system failure leads to hundreds of postponed NHS appointments and staff unable to access clinical and admin systems

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) IT systems remain down after a fault meant patients' appointments were cancelled and staff were unable to access key systems.  

The health board, responsible for hospitals and general practices in the Scottish region, provides care for 1.2 million people and employees 44,000.

However, it was unable to service its patients yesterday when a yet-to-be explained IT issue meant staff had no access to clinical and administrative systems, leading to the postponement of hundreds of appointments.

A statement from NHSGGC said IT staff had worked through the night to mend the system but failed, only managing “to re-establish a basic level of IT service” so its most critical outpatients – namely those needing chemotherapy – would still be seen.  

“I apologise unreservedly for the inconvenience this has caused to our patients who have had their procedures postponed and I will ensure that everything possible is done to get their treatment carried out at the earliest possible opportunity,” said Robert Calderwood, CEO of NHSGGC.

“I can assure everyone that our senior management team, IT specialists and clinical leads have been working around the clock and will continue to do so until this issue is resolved,” he added.

So far, 459 outpatient appointments, 14 planned inpatient procedures, 43 day cases and 48 chemotherapy patients’ treatments have been postponed. IT staff are still working to rectify the issue, but an NHSGGC spokeswoman was unable to give an estimated time for when services will be back online.

Computer Weekly requested information on what technology had been at fault, but was still waiting for clarification from NHSGGC at the time of publication.

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