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Practices cut off from electronic prescribing service by IT glitch

GPs are being left unable to access electronic prescriptions and other online services because of an ongoing fault with swipe card authentication.

The problem with the NHS Spine IT infrastructure means that some users have been unable to access swipe-authorised services since Thursday, with problems persisting despite an overnight fix by BT.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre said it did not know how many practices had been affected by the glitch, although around a third of practices use the electronic prescribing service.

It has advised practices experiencing difficulties to restart their systems, before contacting service support.

A spokesperson for the HSCIC said: ‘We have identified an issue with smartcard authentication which may have caused difficulties for some users in accessing Spine services both yesterday and this morning.

‘BT deployed an overnight fix but this has not fully resolved the issue, although service has improved.’