"Power failure at GP Surgery"

About: Leeds PCT

(as the patient),

There was a total electrical power failure at my GPs.

When I got to the surgery, which was closed, I was met by the Senior Partner who told me that they had a total electrical failure because of a major fault with an underground power cable.

I asked why no one had phone me (and other I assumed) to advise not to attend.... I was told they were not able to get the information from the computer system due to the mains failure.

1 ~ Any disaster recovery plan in place?

2 ~ What about a UPS to keep the system up and running?

3 ~ Are the operational records / online appointments etc backed up off site?

4 ~ Apparently EMIS could not access the records.

5 ~ If there was a fire / major catastrophe, what's the situation?

6 ~ Shouldn't the whole system be under ITIL Governance?

Perhaps Secretary Lansley / Lord Howe should be informed.

There are other issues which I'm happy to discuss off line.

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Response from Becky Riffel, NHS Leeds

Thank you for sharing your story on Patient Opinion. I was sorry to hear about your recent experience at your GP surgery.

I shall pass your comments and suggestions on to the surgery.

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Response from Leeds PCT

Message from the Practice Manager

Firstly I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused during this unfortunate event.

The cable burnt through about midnight and although it fed Meanwood Health Centre it was outside the premises and, therefore, outside of our control. We have been informed that it affected other premises and the following day other parts of Meanwood also lost their power for about three hours.

I can confirm that we did everything possible to rectify the problems and the power was reinstated at 3.45pm the same day which meant the surgery was able to re-open.

I would like to respond to the questions that you posted:

1. I can confirm that we do have a disaster recovery plan in place and this was implemented. However, we have been able to determine areas in which we can improve.

2. We do have an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), on the clinical system. Unfortunately, this took us over the time of the UPS.

3. A daily, full-system backup is kept off site. This includes a separate back up of appointments both on and off site. The system backs up the patient names; date and time of appointment but not other details such as telephone numbers. This is why, unfortunately we were unable to contact patients to inform them about the situation.

4. EMIS LV is not a hosted system.

5. If there was a major fire, as with the recent power failure, we would initiate the disaster recovery plan. On the day of the power failure this resulted in the problem being reported and fixed in a relatively short space of time given that we had to deal with utility companies and not contracted engineers.

6. I can confirm that information governance plays an important role in our use of computers and is under the terms of the Department of Health IT governance for the use of NHS Connecting for Health services.

If you would like to discuss any other issues, please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 0525 270.

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