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GPs playing catch-up on patient consultations after Monday morning EMIS outage


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GPs are facing delayed appointments after EMIS Web suffered technical problems this morning, resulting in crashes and slow running of the programme across the country.

An EMIS spokesperson told Pulse that the technical issue is now ‘fully restored’ and an investigation is taking place to ‘ensure there will be no reoccurrence’.

But GPs warned they were now playing catch-up from not being able to consult patients first thing on a Monday morning.

Some also complained that they had been unable to get through to customer services via phone and live chat this morning.

One user told a Facebook EMIS Web support group that they were told by the chatbot that the company was ‘aware that many customers are receiving slowness and crashing in EMIS Web’, and that anyone trying to discuss any other issues should try launching a chat ‘at a later time’.

GPs also took to Twitter to air their grievances, including Middlesbrough GP partner Dr Heather Wetherell who said that she started work at 7.30 to ‘get ahead’ but only managed to speak to one patients in 90 minutes thanks to the outage.

And London GP Dr Jamie Wallis shared an error message stating EMIS had ‘encountered a serious problem and needs to close’, potentially losing unsaved work.

North East London CCG chair and GP Dr Jagan John said 150 practices were ‘at standstill’ across the Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge areas.

Many others also took to Twitter to express frustration at the time lost due to the IT issues this morning.

An EMIS spokesperson told Pulse: ‘On Monday 19 April, we experienced a technical problem that affected access to EMIS Web for some customers. All services were fully restored by 10am. 

‘We are carrying out a full investigation to understand what happened to ensure there will be no reoccurrence.’

It comes as a major Pulse survey recently revealed ‘unmanageable’ GP workload, with GPs working 11-hour days on average.

Meanwhile, NHS England has extended a temporary central deal which will ensure GP practices have continued access to AccuRx and other video consultation technology until the end of this year.

READERS' COMMENTS [3]

Patrufini Duffy 19 April, 2021 2:47 pm

Gives us all time to take our morning dose of sertraline, and loperamide.

Dave Haddock 19 April, 2021 7:07 pm

“there will be no reoccurrence . . .”
until the next time.

Mark Essop 21 April, 2021 6:15 pm

EMIS’ performance has been deteriorating for a number of years and so has its customer service. Multiple crashes per day have become the norm for this unstable system. When TSB experienced IT failures in 2019 it prompted the government to commission a parliamentary report on the matter and yet there seems to be no such interest when general practice is crippled by this failing system.