back to article NHS outages KO Welsh GP services and Manchester A&E

A data centre glitch has left doctors in Wales unable to access their patients’ details – while a similar outage in Manchester, England, has placed severe strain on hospitals’ accident and emergency departments. Dr Alan Woodall, chairman of GP Survival UK who works from a surgery in Montgomeryshire, mid-Wales, told the Beeb: " …

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Pay?

So Doctors also run the data centre? Thought not.

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What the Press office knows

may be one thing, what they will say another, but the connection of those to current network status - and indeed of the declared status - may well be yet a third thing.

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Re: What the Press office knows

There is a Soviet / Radio Yerewan joke in there somewhere.

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Doctor?

Anyone else noticed the 'Doctor' in the photograph is actually a fictional doctor from Star Trek Voyager, played by Robert Picardo. Lol.

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Re: Doctor?

Who was specifically the Emergency Medical Hologram. For use when you run out of doctors (or the doctors are running away from the Borg).

Seems appropriate.

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Re: Doctor?

Do you think that all the "doctors" in stock photos have medical licenses?

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Re: Doctor?

Doctor Dre isn't even a real doctor.

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Re: Doctor?

It's almost like they knew that and selected that image on purpose.

Lucky buggers, imagine dropping on that image in such a manner.

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WTF?

Re: Doctor?

Oh, come ON. Next you'll be telling us Professor Green didn't actually defend a PhD!

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Anonymous Coward

id imagine its not the connections, but a 3rd party system, like Emis maybe , or Docman, or Maxims

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I wonder how an NHSbuntu/NHoS based system would have handled it?

I'll just leave that there...

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Re: I wonder how an NHSbuntu/NHoS based system would have handled it?

Wasn't NHoS a desktop OS? So no affect at all on network systems.

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Re: I wonder how an NHSbuntu/NHoS based system would have handled it?

That's the trouble with too much caffeine. It addles the brain with the result that extreme sarcasm goes straight over your head.

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Re: I wonder how an NHSbuntu/NHoS based system would have handled it?

Fair enough. To me, sarcasm without relevance looks a hell of a lot like random non-sequitor.

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Re: I wonder how an NHSbuntu/NHoS based system would have handled it?

Wasn't NHoS a desktop OS?

The difference between a desktop version of linux and a server version is (usually) only down to a few differences in package selection..

At a small scale anyway.

(Yes, yes, my sarcasm detector *is* working. Sort of.)

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Devil

Please state the nature of the medical emergency

Chronic underfunding brought about due to a minister with a privatisation agenda.

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Re: Please state the nature of the medical emergency

Chronic underfunding brought about due to a minister with a privatisation agenda.

The first thing that usually crops up here is to note that Health is now a devolved matter, so in political terms Wales and Scotland are completely separate from what happens in England.

This then often leads on to a discussion of the West Lothian question, which is a discussion about whether or not Welsh and Scottish MPs should be able to vote on such devolved issues at Westminster, where (in theory) only English policies are determined.

What escapes many people though is that this isn't entirely the case. Due to the wonderful bureaucratic compromise that is the Barnett formula policies on devolved matters in England have an only slightly less than direct bearing on those matters in Wales and Scotland. The politics may be separate, but funding decisions in England directly affect the block grant given to the devolved governments, thus if England decides to reduce NHS spending in England, a corresponding amount is taken out of Welsh and Scottish budgets, and if they wish to maintain NHS funding, they have to make up that shortfall from elsewhere.

Can you tell this gets me a bit cross?

M.

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Re: Please state the nature of the medical emergency

Welsh health POLICY is devolved, but until the Welsh Assembly is given powers to levy it's own taxes and spend it's income as it sees fit, you can't blame them for funding. That buck (or 70c, these days) stops in Whitehall.

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Anonymous Coward

Not as devastating as seems to have been made out

My wife, who works at a large teaching hospital in Wales said that the problems were essentially with external connectivity. Apparently all internal services were operating as normal and paper-based procedures meant that - at her hospital at any rate - there was very little real impact. Normal service was restored by mid afternoon, I gather.

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Re: Not as devastating as seems to have been made out

Any idea when it started?

If you're right that it was fixed mid afternoon (and I'm not doubting you) it's odd that the Beeb didn't report on it til 3pm and ElReg until 6pm. Both would normally jump on a story like that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not as devastating as seems to have been made out

All I can say is that it was sorted before she left (normal office hours).

You might glean some timings from the Informatics Services Twitter feed, though their news page doesn't seem to log times, only dates.

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Re: Not as devastating as seems to have been made out

Can't speak for Wales but was at an outpatients clinic in Grater Manchester on Tuesday morning. Staff were complaining about computer systems being down then

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Re: Not as devastating as seems to have been made out

So, based off that twitter feed it was down 2.30 til about 5.15. Presumably both numbers are going to have a bit of lag from the actual times.

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Anonymous Coward

Colt Networks had major outage

that started in the morning and took a few hours to sort. It was based in London but had an effect much wider.

Maybe the two are linked?

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Anonymous Coward

As someone who worked in GP services for 10 years..

They have continuity plans in place within practices for this sort of thing, but due to moving ever more closely to electronic patient records it could be an issue for allergies etc.

Fortunately they are likely to have had some access to national systems which will hold some of this data. However for short periods (24/48hrs) outages like this aren't a huge problem.

If your local GP is saying " we can't treat patients " they are lying, lazy or attention seeking. They can - they are trained, not the computers. As long as they can talk to the patient, access allergy information they are good to go for a limit time. Fortunately over-reaction from GPs in incredibly rare and most just want to get on with the work, they will be more worried about keying in data afterwards and processing tests/results to ensure records are up to date - this it he main issue with outages in IT within practices.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As someone who worked in GP services for 10 years..

"If your local GP is saying " we can't treat patients " they are lying, lazy or attention seeking. "

So when I last went and they pulled up my x-ray results and details of treament and then arrange an appointment for physio. How is that done without a computer?

I sit there while they send a carrier pigeon to the hospital and then send a small child to run 10 miles to the physio's?

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