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by Our manager in practice
31 December 2007

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The clinical server disaster before Christmas

At the end of my last blog, I said that by the time I write the next one the silly season will be nearly over – well it almost is and I for one will be extremely glad!

The staff Xmas party was extremely well received. Unfortunately the doctors’ team won the 10-pin bowling, but  only narrowly defeated the receptionists! A good time was had by all and the Christmas spirit was set running – which was just as well as disaster lurked the following week!

On Monday afternoon, the clinical server went down. This proved to be pretty terminal, and it was Thursday before we were running properly. The week before Xmas was not the ideal time to be testing our emergency/disaster recovery plans!

The plan swung into action and everyone was soon mucking in to get jobs done. The enthusiasm to handwrite prescriptions soon waned, however, as another day of writing loomed … and then another.

Having had a large part in writing the disaster plan, it was galling to find how many things had been missed, when it came to actually testing it! It proved that however many things you have included and just when you think you have thought about everything, something else crops up.

One major thing we discovered was the loss of the domain for the network, so printing could not be carried out unless you had a local printer – that is, if you had anything on your PC locally to work with.

Then back-up systems (I don’t mean the actual back-up tapes, which were fine, but other systems to access data) were found not to have been updated regularly. We managed to get them updated with help from various quarters (everyone is most helpful when you are in the middle of a disaster!) but this took time.

All in all, it was one massively significant event, which has taught us a lot about disaster plans and trying them out!

On top of this, Xmas week brought us the news that “talks” had broken down and the government were likely to impose new working hours on us, which would probably mean a sizeable loss in income. Roll on 2008, it can only get better!

A Happy New Year to us all!