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GP practices suffering IT problems for weeks following ‘air-conditioning failure’

GP practices across West Yorkshire have experienced IT problems for almost two weeks, after a failed air-conditioning unit forced a shutdown of servers covering three CCGs.

The air conditioning unit at Douglas Mill data centre failed on the 10 October, forcing the servers to either shut down or lose all the data at NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG, NHS Bradford City CCG and NHS Bradford Districts CCG.

The 81 practices affected by the system failure had different levels of problems, including not being able to access emails.

The CCGs were in the process of migrating the data from the Douglas Mill servers to a new location in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary after ‘having identified risks’ with the system.

However, the migration was not complete by the time the air conditioning failed, and some data had not been transferred when problem arose.

A spokesperson for the affected CCGs said they were ‘working round the clock’ to get the systems fully operational again, with the IT supplier eMBED Health Consortium working with IT specialists DELL and Phoenix ‘to resolve our current IT issues’.

The spokesperson said: ‘Our main system infrastructure and VDI environment stabilised over the weekend, and progress is being made on some secondary issues. Whilst we are continuing to experience issues as the system begins to balance its load, GPs are able to work within the contingency mode of SystmOne.’

They added: ‘We know that the continuing issues are making it harder for our practices to do their work, and how frustrating it is that the issues are continuing to add to backlogs for practices. We are working with clinicians to put in place systems and processes to manage risks in clinical quality and care.’

‘GPs are able to see and update patient records and have systems in place to manage urgent and fast-track cancer referrals. We aim to fully restore IT systems as soon as possible.’