Possible harm to thousands of patients due to undelivered NHS mail

A patient safety inquiry has been launched after the IT company, Cerner, a private contractor, failed to send more than 28,000 pieces of confidential medical correspondence to GPs, according to the Guardian.

The “clinical harm review” is trying to determine if any patients have been harmed after 28,563 letters detailing discussions at outpatient appointments were not sent because of a mistake by the IT company. The letters should have been sent by doctors at Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals in north London to GPs after consultations with 22,144 patients between June last year and last month.

The Guardian has seen a leaked memo that details the incident involving sensitive communications involving the NHS. It was sent on 7 February by Caroline Clarke, the chief executive of the Royal Free London group of hospitals, which include Barnet and Chase Farm.

In the memo Clarke says the 28,563 letters were not sent because of “a technical error, which happened when our IT partner, Cerner, implemented a customised update on the system we use for distributing outpatient summary letters”.

Full story from The Guardian, 18 February 2020

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