‘Software issue’ with supplier blamed for massive NHSmail outage

Written by Sam Trendall on 4 December 2018 in News
News

Health-service workers were shut out of their accounts for large parts of Saturday

Credit: Huffslush7264/CC BY-SA 4.0

An outage that caused a complete shutdown of the NHSmail system for large parts of Saturday has been blamed on “a software issue in the supplier’s internal infrastructure”.

The health service’s email system went down in its entirety around lunchtime on Saturday and, while some workers regained access over the course of the afternoon, the issues were not fully fixed until about 8pm. 

Additionally, a number of users remained shut out of their account as a result of having made too many unsuccessful login attempts during the outage. Around 9pm on Saturday NHS Digital began work to reset these accounts.


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Having restored access, NHS Digital said: “We will continue to monitor the service carefully over the next 24 hours but if you experience any further issues please report them to your service desk.”

Since 2016, the NHSmail platform has supported by Accenture. 

The Health Service Journal reported that the professional services firm is likely to incur “big penalties” for the outage, according to sources. Accenture referred HSJ’s requests for comment back to NHS Digital.

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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