IT meltdown leaves Royal Blackburn relying on paper

Royal Blackburn Hospital managers say they have fixed an IT problem which prevented clinicians from accessing patient records. GPs were warned last week that only urgent referrals could be sent to the hospital due to a fault with the electronic patient records system. Val Berternshaw, director of operations at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "A power surge in our computer server room led to severe communications difficulties across local health services, including long periods where clinicians were unable to access key patient administration systems for vital information such as pathology results, X-rays and patient records. The hospitals trust and primary care trusts implemented our joint plans for just this kind of incident and reverted to paper and telephone-based communications. This was, of course, slower than our usual computerised systems, so there were some delays which led to bed pressures, but the hospital continued to function as normal. The problem has now been fixed and all systems are working as normal."

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