04 Apr 2007
clinicians and admin staff at
In their open letter, the staff describe the software as "awkward and clunky" and state: "In our opinion the system should not be installed in any further hospitals."
Reported problems include clinics not being available, patient notes being lost or unavailable, staff being trained on a different system to the one implemented and problems with reporting around key areas such as 18-week waits. One senior clinician from the trust described the situation in outpatients as "a nightmare".
Connecting for Health said that there had been "some unacceptable
problems" with the new system installed at
patient administration system introduced to
Millennium system replaced a 20-year old green screen system at
In a statement Fujitsu said: "It is normal for new IT systems to have a bedding down period where issues are dealt with before it becomes a part of everyday working life. However, it is clear that in this case there have been some high impact problems and we regret any inconvenience that this has caused to patients and clinicians."
Cerner said in a statement to EHI: "Cerner continues to work with Fujitsu and CfH to address the issues and to support the Trust in addressing any remaining concerns following Go-live".
that fact that all 79 staff who signed the open letter work for the trust
A spokesperson confirmed, however, that staff had previously voiced their discontent and concerns about the new IT system through more standard trust channels.
Asked to confirm whether the letter did say that the signatories believed the system should not be installed in any further hospitals the spokesperson said "that is in the letter".
Local paper Milton Keynes News quoted hospital consultant Dr Richard Butterworth as saying. "Outpatients is currently a nightmare with no notes."
Dr Butterworth told a recent Board meeting that clinics laboriously set up on Millennium are no longer available as intended. "We spent months setting up new clinics but they are no longer visible on CRS. If these are teething problems that's great but otherwise I have concerns."
He is also quoted as saying that there have been problems with missing notes. "The new system meant that 40 patients had no sets of case notes". "It's much harder to see follow-up patients if you haven't got the old notes."
has the contract to deliver NHS IT upgrades in the capital, is also due to
install the software in all hospitals in
MK News also quoted the trust's finance director Rob Baird as saying: "CRS is one of the biggest things that has happened in the organisation." He added that trust staff had worked "way beyond the expectations we could have of them"
He acknowledged that services had suffered though "The service to our patients in some areas has diminished in this period. At the moment we have quite a confused situation and it's like everyone had started a new job".
Baird added: "One of the problems was the system that we trained on was not the system that we went active with, it was a training version that was different." He concluded "We have found that in some areas it's not been as good as we would like it to be."
written response to EHI CfH said "
The agency said: "It is clear that there are some issues at the trust which need immediate attention and we share their disappointment that they have experienced these problems. Ensuring this is resolved and normal service is resumed is a top priority."
CfH said that having been informed of the problems by the trust on Friday 30th March it "responded immediately" and has set up a dedicated team to work through the problems.
The DH agency added: "There will be no payments made to Fujitsu until the system is working satisfactorily."
Fujitsu said that there were "16 issues" that had been identified as needing to be addressed after go-live, with six being of "greater priority". "They included case note tracking, re-scheduling out-patients and missing data fields. Fujitsu said five of the six, have been resolved and the one remaining is due to be resolved by the middle of April.
It added that three of the lower priority issues "remain under investigation and an on-site team from Fujitsu and Cerner are currently working with the Trust to resolve them."
promised that lessons would be learned from the