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GPs go forth

GPs 'fuming' as patients kept waiting amid 'nationwide' EMIS outage

GP practices across the country were forced to cancel or delay appointments following an IT system crash this morning.

The outage, which started at 9.45am and lasted for around 40 minutes, affected GP practices using EMIS Web - roughly over half of practices.

EMIS is investigating what caused the problem.

Dr Stephen Forster, a GP in Merseyside, told Pulse: 'Receptionists [are] trying to work out who is next and GPs writing consults on paper to add into EMIS record later. Several patients just coming into discuss investigation results or hospital letters [are] having to be sent away to rebook.'

Meanwhile, a large number of GPs took to Twitter to express their frustration at being unable to get on with their work.

Dr Ellie Cannon, media columnist and London GP, tweeted that doctors were 'fuming' as a result.

A statement from EMIS circulated to practices during the outage said: 'We are aware that a number of EMIS Web users are experiencing degraded performance when using the EMIS Web Application.

'We are investigating this with a high priority.'

An EMIS spokesperson told Pulse: 'EMIS Health experienced technical problems this morning affecting access for some of our end users.

'The issue was resolved within 40 minutes and all systems are now back up and running. We alerted our customers to the issue via our service platform and telephony system.

'We are investigating the root cause and will continue to liaise with NHS Digital throughout this process.'

Currently, 57% of GP practices in the UK use EMIS Web.

This article was last updated at 14.30 on 6 February 2020.



Readers' comments (10)

  • IT. Saves you time.

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  • According to the e-mail EMIS circulated we were merely experiencing "degraded performance". Sounds like something from the Monte Python Blue Parrot sketch! Perhaps EMIS web was just "stunned" nationally or pining for the Fjords....

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  • Found these lovely blue & pink pieces of card in my drawer with lines on & places to write patients name!
    Only problem is forgotten how to write..... & patient s havent a clue what drugs they are on!

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  • Vinci Ho

    I am not trying to repeat again what you would expect me to say again .
    The pattern of this recurrent failure of IT systems ( EMIS web in here ) is no longer just an alert to NHSE , NHSI etc . The government and these subordinates can have swathes of imagination that general practice , through PCNs , for instance , can deliver so much to solve the crisis in NHS . But I am sorry that if the fundamentals cannot be fixed( new resources with no extra strings attached) , this is not just a blip in the IT system This m is the government-NHSE-NHSI failing their duties to people of the country.

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  • prefer it without the computers, can't do repeat scripts, can't do much really. consults are nice and short. and no one can be angry with me cos its not my fault. 2ww an issue now we are no longer able to fax them to the secretaries when the IT fails but this is progress apparently. Plus can't speak to the coroner about a death as they will only accept email referrals and without the patient details and history its all a bit of a guessing game when last seen etc etc. As it happens on a regular basis there will be inevitable delays etc but according to Matty this is the future of the NHS.

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  • Rogue1

    It wasn't too bad this morning, but seriously poor performance this afternoons surgery. I feel like pulling the plug!

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  • Complete outage. Emis wouldn't load. Back to pen and paper. Makes you think...

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  • Perhaps the time and treasure being squandered on PCNs and the laughable pseudomedics might be better spent on developing an it system that helps more than it hinders?

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  • More IT Mr Hancock?

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  • DrRubbishBin

    nothing a bit of AI couldn't fix hey 😝

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