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IT issues to welcome GPs back from Bank Holiday weekend


PCSE


GPs across the country returned from the Bank Holiday to be met with delays to their consultations amid slow running of the EMIS Web system.

Similar happened after the weekend just a fortnight ago, when EMIS Web’s technical issues meant crashes, slow running and delayed appointments.

Today’s problem was resolved in the morning, according to EMIS, but it was still completing its investigation into the underlying cause at 4pm.

GPs in areas including Durham, Bristol, Hampshire, London, Essex and Yorkshire reported being affected, with some warning that patient information may be ‘missed’ as a result.

Dr Lizzi Helbsy, a GP partner in St Helens, told Pulse: ‘It’s been impossible this morning. It’s so slow getting into patients’ records, crashing often and not saving in the middle of documenting, meaning information may be missed.

‘The extra time everything is taking means that I’ve been here since 7:30am and am likely going to be here late into the evening. I’m a very tired and very stressed GP. Work demand through the roof after a Bank Holiday, and the system we use to support is failing.’

Similarly, Dr Irfan Malik, a GP partner in Nottingham, said: ‘This morning EMIS crashed again and started running quite slow.

‘This was very frustrating as after a Bank Holiday weekend, we were very busy. Accessing the notes and prescribing was very slow, leading to patient safety issues. This is the second time EMIS has crashed on a national level over the last month.’

A spokesperson for EMIS told Pulse at 3.30pm: ‘On Tuesday 4 May, we experienced a technical issue that caused EMIS Web to run slowly for some customers. The problem was quickly resolved and we apologise to those users who were affected.’

EMIS added that although the situation has ‘now been resolved’, GPs should contact its customer support team if they are still experiencing a problem.

The news comes as NHS Digital data showed that GPs saw more patients in March than in any other month since records began – with the BMA feeling that this validates GP warnings that they are busier than ever.