Doctors at military surgeries warn that IT problems are endangering patients

Written by Liz Bates on 20 August 2018 in News
News

Report claims technology issues could result in military personnel being given wrong drugs

Credit:  Georgina Stubbs/PA Wire/PA Images​

Widespread IT failures in military surgeries across the country are putting troops’ lives at risk, doctors have warned.

Medical staff told The Times that military personnel are in danger of being given the wrong drugs and missing out on vital vaccines as computer glitches regularly prevent them accessing patients’ records.

One practitioner described the IT system as "the biggest threat to patient safety that I have encountered in my 20-year career".


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Colonel Glynn Evans, chairman of the armed forces committee of the British Medical Association (BMA) said staff had raised concerns about the system.

"They are worried about the systematic failure of the IT system not allowing them to deliver safe medical care," he said. "My members tell me this represents potentially material risk to the soldiers, sailors and airmen they look after."

MPs have already vowed to raise the issue with ministers when Parliament returns next month.   

Former Labour defence minister Kevan Jones said: "These revelations are shocking. The MoD has a duty of care to our servicemen and women which is not being met."

A spokesman for the MoD said: "We are proud to have highly qualified professionals who would never prescribe drugs or deploy troops without doing the appropriate checks. IT issues have been raised in 0.001 per cent of medical consultations over the past two years, and none of these incidents has ever caused any harm."

 

About the author

Liz Bates is senior political reporter for PublicTechnology sister publication PoliticsHome, where this story first appeared.

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