Electronic prescriptions breakdown affects scores of practices on busy Monday

Scores of GP practices across Cumbria were unable to use the electronic prescription service (EPS) on Monday, resorting to handwritten scrips as a backlog of paperwork built up.

GP IT systems provider EMIS Health told GPonline that 42 practices in south Cumbria were affected by the problem, which was an 'isolated incident' affecting that area alone.

EMIS apologised to GPs and said it was 'still investigating' what had triggered the collapse of EPS, which it said was restored by 3.30pm at affected practices.

GPs highlighted the problem via Twitter, with Morecambe Bay LMC member Dr Peter Weeks asking EMIS: 'What is going on?' Practices staff were unable to do their jobs, and patients were being 'severely inconvenienced', he warned.

An EMIS Health spokeswoman told GPonline: 'EMIS Health was made aware of an issue today (4 June 2018) with managing prescriptions at 42 practices in south Cumbria. It was our top priority to resolve this, and by 3.30pm prescribing was running again at all the affected practices.

'It was an isolated incident in south Cumbria and we are still investigating the cause. We would like to apologise to all practices affected today. The GPs affected followed back up plans of either handwriting prescriptions for urgent cases or recording prescriptions that could be issued later.'

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