Ambulance IT crash drove staff to use pen and paper

An information technology systems crash at one of the UK’s largest ambulance services forced it to use pen and paper for dealing with 999 calls for more than a day last month, it has emerged.

Control staff at East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), which receives about 2,000 calls a day, also had to reportedly use a radio system and telephones to send out ambulances as a result of the IT system failing.

Normally, EMAS sends ambulances by computerised messages, similar to a text alert, but the more traditional means were used due to no back-up to the IT system being in place, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The service, which provides emergency care to 4.8m people across six counties, last week saw its chief executive, Phil Milligan, step down following a difficult year for the organisation, which has failed to hit response-time targets.

Although unrelated, his departure came in the same week that the Information Commissioner ruled that his office would not be taking enforcement action against EMAS after it confirmed that personal data of employees had been wrongly published online.

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