Computer error blamed for ten patients waiting over a year for treatment at Sheffield hospitals

Ten patients waited over a year for treatment in Sheffield's hospitals due to a computer error.

Thursday, 16th February 2017, 2:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:06 am
In 12 months, 17 patients waited for more than a year without treatment at Sheffield's hospitals

Ten patients waited over a year for treatment in Sheffield's hospitals due to a computer error.

Letters which were meant to be printed out to patients were never sent resulting in missed appointments they never knew about

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, who run the Northern General, Hallamshire, Weston Park, Jessops maternity wing and the Charles Clifford Dental unit has apologised.

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But Kirsten Major, director of strategy and operations at the Trust, said none of the 10 patients were waiting for emergency treatment such as cancer services.

She added the majority were waiting for the eye or dental appointments.

In a report seen by The Star, figures show in the 11 previous months only seven patients had to wait longer than 52 weeks for treatment.

Kirsten Major, Director of Strategy and Operations, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Unfortunately there was a temporary technical issue with the appointment booking system which meant that for these patients the appointment letter was created but was not issued.

"As a result the patients therefore did not attend the appointments that were booked on the system. The result was that they were taken off the system as we do with patients who do not attend appointments and where the clinician agrees that returning to primary care is safe. .

"All patients have now been offered an appointment and for those who still wanted treatment, all have now been seen. As soon as we realised the technical issue had occurred we immediately contacted the patients to offer another appointment as soon as possible. However when we entered the new appointment on the system it calculated the wait from the time the first referral was made which then meant the 52 week standard was breached.

"We have rectified the technical problem and put in additional checks to limit the chances of this happening again. We have apologised to all of the patients who were affected."