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NEWS: Welsh IT problems alarm practices

by in GP Practice Management, News, Wales

NewsPractices in Wales have expressed concern after an investigation found serious problems with NHS computer systems in the country.

The report by Welsh Assembly members came as practices face the prospect of having to adopt new software, commissioned by the NHS.

The report published by the Assembly’s public accounts committee found 21 instances of data outages in the first six months of this year.

It criticised the “slow pace” of delivery of modern informatics systems and delays in the delivery of electronic patient records.

Dr Peter Saul, joint chair of the Royal College of GPs in Wales, said the report raised concerns about the new practice software.

He said: “It’s also important to remember that many GP practices will soon be having to change the software they use in their practice, following NHS Wales’ tendering process earlier in the year.

“This will add further disruption to the wider issues the report has identified, and the College is re-iterating its call for the Welsh Government to ensure practices get the support they need.”

He added: “Data outages can be extraordinarily disruptive for practices and for patients. They affect appointments, prescriptions and the nuts and bolts of a functioning practice and can take hours to recover from.

“Unfortunately these data outages are becoming all too common, leaving GPs scrambling to find solutions or workarounds while waiting rooms fill up.

“Embracing safe, reliable and innovative technology will be vital for the future of healthcare, but that will be undermined if the Welsh NHS cannot get its IT right. Whether it’s the basics like appointment booking, or larger projects such as electronic prescribing or electronic patient records, we need IT that works.”

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