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GPs left unable to consult patients after ‘nationwide’ EMIS outage

6 February 2020

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GP practices across the country were forced to cancel or delay appointments following an IT system crash this morning.

The outage, which started at 9.45am and lasted for around 40 minutes, affected GP practices using EMIS Web – roughly over half of practices.

EMIS is investigating what caused the problem.

Dr Stephen Forster, a GP in Merseyside, told our sister publication Pulse: ‘Receptionists [are] trying to work out who is next and GPs writing consults on paper to add into EMIS record later. Several patients just coming into discuss investigation results or hospital letters [are] having to be sent away to rebook.’

Meanwhile, a large number of GPs took to Twitter to express their frustration at being unable to get on with their work.

Dr Ellie Cannon, media columnist and London GP, tweeted that doctors were ‘fuming’ as a result.

A statement from EMIS circulated to practices during the outage said: ‘We are aware that a number of EMIS Web users are experiencing degraded performance when using the EMIS Web Application.

‘We are investigating this with a high priority.’

Technical problems

An EMIS spokesperson told Pulse: ‘EMIS Health experienced technical problems this morning affecting access for some of our end users.

‘The issue was resolved within 40 minutes and all systems are now back up and running. We alerted our customers to the issue via our service platform and telephony system.

‘We are investigating the root cause and will continue to liaise with NHS Digital throughout this process.’

Currently, 57% of GP practices in the UK use EMIS Web.

This article was last updated at 14.30 on 6 February 2020.