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70 London 999 calls lost due to clock-change IT glitch

Emergency calls lost in British Summer Time balls-up last year

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The London Ambulance Service trust has confirmed that more than 70 emergency calls were not visible to staff due to a technical fault caused by a switch from British Summer Time last year.

A control room IT glitch led to the loss of the calls in October last year, the service said.

According to an article in the Health Service Journal, a technical review found that the service's call-handling system had not been correctly set up after the clock change from British Summer Time last year. As a result, a number of emergency calls did not to appear on a screen in the control room.

A spokesman for the trust told Guardian Government Computing: "On 30 October 2011, a technical issue developed in our control room where some 999 calls were not visible on a small number of the computer screens.

"The issue was immediately identified by staff, and after 25 minutes was resolved by our technical team, who were able to account for all the 999 calls in the system."

A clinical review of the calls that hadn't been visible found that no patients were in life-threatening condition, according to the spokesman, but a few may have benefited from either an earlier response or a ring back to make further assessment.

In June 2011, the London Ambulance Service experienced difficulties with the implementation of new CommandPoint software from Northrop Grumman. The installation led to major delays, with the trust initially having to revert to using its previous call-taking software until the issues were fixed.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

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