Lister Hospital IT issue: ‘No harm’ has come to patients

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South Beds News Agency

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Discharge summaries can contain details of any changes to medication as well as follow-up appointments or tests

A computer problem affecting thousands of hospital patients has not led to anyone coming to harm, the NHS said.

Last September, East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust found 14,600 patients may have been discharged, mainly in Stevenage, without medical notes being sent to them or their GP.

The notes of a “statistically significant sample” of data were analysed, the trust said.

A spokesman said: “The data showed no harm to patients.”

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust runs:

  • The Lister Hospital in Stevenage
  • the new QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City
  • Hertford County Hospital
  • Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood

The patient record system, Lorenzo, was introduced at The Lister in September 2017 and the Trust earlier said most people affected were in-patients there.

Discharge summaries are sent to GPs and provide information about a patient’s treatment in hospital.

The notes can include any detail about changes to medication and further appointments or tests.

Independently validated

When the error was found, the trust started a review of patient medical records in a method agreed with regulators NHS Improvement and commissioners East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

A East and North Herts NHS Trust spokesman said: “Following accepted statistical research practice, a statistically significant sample of the delayed discharge summary data was rapidly reviewed and analysed by our consultant physicians and surgeons.

“From this significant sample the data showed no harm to patients as a result of the delayed discharge summaries.”

The results were independently validated by a consultant from another trust, which confirmed that no harm had occurred to any patient from the sample.

GP records of a subsample of patients were also reviewed by local GPs which also confirmed the results.

The trust said the problem has now been rectified.

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