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LMC advises practices to contact indemnity provider after trust IT glitch

GP leaders have advised GPs to inform their indemnity providers of a patient records system glitch at East and North Herts Hospital NHS Trust.

The IT issue, reported by Pulse last month, meant there was no evidence that 14,600 patient records had been sent to GPs between September 2017 and July this year.

The trust said at the time that consultants would manually look through all unsent records to identify outstanding actions and resend the discharge summaries to GPs ‘in small batches’.

However, in a letter sent from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire LMC to GPs, it advised practices that they ‘should inform their indemnity company or companies that this failure of the Trust has occurred’.

LMC chief executive Dr Peter Graves told Pulse: ‘We are covering all bases so if the trust does send out thousands of discharge summaries, how on earth does a GP cope with that and find the one patient that could potentially cause a problem.’

Dr Graves added that the LMC would fight to ensure practices were recompensed for all the time it would take to resolve the issue.

The LMC letter also said it would be asking GPs ‘for a mandate… to act on their behalf to ensure the trust recognises the workload it has caused practices and provides appropriate resources’.

The trust had previously apologised for ‘the potential additional workload this may cause’ for GPs. 

The Medical Defence Union’s head of advisory services Dr Caroline Fryar said the MDU had been made aware of the issues ‘as a number of our GP members have been in touch about this’.

She said: ‘While any liability arising from this is likely to fall to the hospital, if members are concerned that an adverse incident has resulted they are encouraged to contact us for individual advice.’