A series of problems with a new computer system at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has seen patient care “severely” delayed.
A number of patients were not given their appointments, given too little notice of consultations, mistakenly told they were due or appointments or wrongly told they were not.
The incident, which the Trust has classified as “severe”, follows moving its outdated patient administration model to a new version.
The Trust was tasked with moving 1.4 million patient records into the new system, which went live in September 2013.
However, within weeks of this, patients began to report receiving multiple copies of letters for the same appointment alongside cancellations dates all in the same envelope.
It also emerged that many patients who had follow up appointments made under the old system were not receiving confirmation or reminder notes from the new system.
By November, doctors were reported to be complaining of empty slots in their clinics and it was discovered that appointment letters had not been printed for five weeks.
“The patients were very concerned that they could not make their appointment and in some case were concerned that they would have their care transferred back to their GP,” according to a report seen by local press.
Problems were blamed on management restructuring, staff loss, implementation mistakes and a lack of staff engagement.
“When planning any major change to systems that this is undertaken with involvement throughout the process from key users and that adequate time is built into the plan to enable more robust testing and validation to take place,” the report claimed.