Homerton Hospital computer systems down for two hours because of clocks going back

PUBLISHED: 12:06 01 November 2018

Homerton Hospital.

Homerton Hospital.


It may sound like something out of a bad sci-fi film, or 1999, but computer systems at Homerton Hospital actually did go down on Saturday night because of the clocks going back.

Ahmet Cayir had to take his brother to A&E after he injured his hands, but was left bewildered when he got there at about 12.45am to be told the computers were not working because British Summer Time was about to end.

The hospital trust has now explained the outage happens twice a year every time the clocks change and is planned to allow IT workers to reset the electronic patient records system.

Ahmet told the Gazette: “All the computers were black and reception said they had no access.

“They took our details manually on a form. They said it was because the clocks had gone back.

“It seemed like stuff was on hold. I found it quite shocking to be honest.

“The workers were saying: ‘This is what happens when the clocks go back’.

“I was thinking: ‘Really? This is a hospital’.

“I don’t think it should be happening at a hospital. I just think people should know about it, especially as there’s all this talk about scrapping the clocks going back.”

Confirming the outage, the hospital said staff had been told about the “planned downtime” in advance.

A note sent to workers ahead of the maintenance explained the systems would be down for about two hours from 12.45am “due to the end of British Summer Time”.

All wards and clinical areas affected were told to ensure their contingency plans were available, up to date and that there were manual processes in place including paper forms for ordering bloods and x-rays.

Warnings were also displayed to staff on their computers 30 minutes before it happened.

A spokesperson said: “Each department has contingency plans in place to deal with this.

“It might involve some additional paperwork for staff used to inputting information on the computer.”

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