Ambulance service lost 999 calls when clocks went back

IT glitch caused 71 emergency calls to be dropped during switch from British Summer Time last year, London Ambulance Service (LAS) confirms

Share article

Short of time?

Print this pageEmail article

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) missed 71 emergency calls due to an IT glitch triggered by the switch from British Summer Time at the end of October last year.

Commenting on the story in the Health Service Journal, LAS confirmed that calls had gone missing from its call-taking (CTAK) system on 30 October last year. No further details on the exact nature of the IT fault were available.

The London Ambulance Service said that the calls had disappeared from systems for 25 minutes, but that all calls were accounted for after the CTAK system was fixed. A LAS spokesperson said that no life-threatening situations were among the 71 missed calls, but some "may have benefited from an earlier response".

The BST glitch followed the LAS' being forced to return to pen-and-paper for processing emergency calls after a new call-taking system implementation failed in early June 2011.

The LAS had attempted to replace its 20-year-old CTAK with Northrop Grumman's CommandPoint software, but the integration failed, prompting a six month review of the software and LAS' systems.

An LAS spokesperson said that the review was now complete, and that LAS is planning to re-implement CommandPoint within weeks, after working with Northrop Grumman to fix the issues which caused the June crash.