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Cancer care delays at Barts

30th June 2008

Urgent cancer patients are not being seen within the government’s two-week deadline at a London hospital because of problems surrounding the new NHS Care Records System.

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Barts and the London NHS Trust has admitted the problem was due to the switch to the new system.

Papers for the trust board state: “The breaches were directly attributable to the erroneous migration of outpatient clinics at the change over to CRS.”

It is understood that the urgent cancer cases are part of a wider backlog of inpatient and outpatient appointments not entered onto the new CRS system.

The trust has confirmed 11 cancer patients were affected with the delays ranging from two to 31 days.

In a statement, the trust added: “More than half of these patients have been seen and found not to have cancer. The remainder have their appointments booked and despite being offered sooner dates have chosen to stick with the original date.”

Barts and the London became the first major teaching trust in the capital to migrate to the Cerner Millennium CRS system, supplied by BT as part of the NHS IT programme.

But there have been problems with staff being unfamiliar with the system and functionality limitations that have contributed to the trust’s problems.

Papers prepared for the board have also shown that as well as the system affecting patient care, it has also impacted on the trust’s ability to report on activity and performance.

The trust said the issues were being resolved by BT and the London Programme for IT.

 

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