IT blamed for death

Over-complicated software at an out-of-hours provider directly contributed to a patient’s death after eight GPs failed to diagnose her condition, an independent investigation found.

Penny Campbell was 41 years old when she died of septicaemia contracted during a minor procedure in 2005.

Eight doctors she spoke to over the Easter bank holiday weekend did not have easy access to notes from previous consultations and this was ‘a direct factor leading to Penny Campbell's death', according to a report by an independent medical panel commissioned by out-of-hours provider Camidoc.

The report said that the computer system used by Camidoc to keep patient records was so complex that although the notes were recorded, successive GPs were unable to pull them up on screen.

Camidoc chairman and retired GP Dr Ivor Robinson said after the publication of the independent report last week: ‘The condition that caused Penny Campbell's death is one that most GPs would never see.

'The computer system was not good enough. We have now updated it.'

The report also exonerated six of the GPs saying that they had done all that could be expected. Evidence on a seventh doctor was inconclusive, while care provided by an eighth, Dr Taik Chuah, was unsatisfactory, but did not lead to Ms Campbell's death.

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