Local GP says ‘patients could die’ because of problems caused by cyber attack

ian-campbell-GP
Dr Ian Campbell said Park House in Carlton was still having problems on Thursday morning.

A Carlton GP says people will die because of problems in recalling patients’ records caused by the NHS cyber-attack.

Dr Ian Campbell, of Park House Medical Centre, said his surgery’s IT systems were still down on Thursday morning – almost a week after the ‘ransomware’ attack.

As of Thursday afternoon, however, all GPs in Nottingham, including Park House, had had access to all clinical systems restored, according to Greater Nottingham Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Speaking on the Notts TV Debate before services were restored, Dr Campbell said, while staff had been ‘working through the night’ to sort the problem, he was ‘not happy’ with how the NHS had responded overall

“Almost one week later we are still offline and patients are suffering because of it,” he said.

“I am absolutely sure that people are dying [in the wider NHS] because of the effects this has had.

“We are at risk of making mistakes, you can prescribe a drug on a prescription pad but I have no means of cross-checking it, if the patient can’t recall if they have an allergy when I ask them I don’t have my computer system flagging it up.”

He said his surgery was running on an older version of Windows XP, a version Microsoft stopped supporting in 2015.

“I am concerned because apparently there was a patch made available several months ago that would have avoided this risk and that has not been installed,” he added.

“Prescriptions are being delayed, referrals are not being made, the whole system ground to a halt.”

He said Nottinghamshire Health Informatics Service (Notts-his), which is commissioned by Greater Nottingham Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), is responsible for any updates and IT service at the clinic.

The Greater Nottingham CCGs said: “As of today, all practices across greater Nottingham now have access to clinical systems.

“We are asking local people to be patient when booking or attending GP appointments as clinicians and NHS staff in Greater Nottingham work to restore normal service after Friday’s cyber attack.

“We apologise to any patients who might face any further inconvenience as practices catch up, but would like to reassure them that everything possible is being done to ensure safe care.

“We are also very grateful to all the staff working in our local GP practices for their continued dedication to patient care during this difficult period, and to the local NHS teams who have worked tirelessly responding to the cyber attack.”

Notts-his did not respond to requests for a separate comment.

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