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Thousands of patients potentially harmed by undelivered NHS mail

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The NHS has launched a patient safety inquiry after a private contractor failed to send more than 28,000 pieces of confidential medical correspondence to GPs. 

NHS bosses are trying to find out if any patients have been harmed after 28,563 letters detailing discussions at outpatient appointments were not sent because of a mistake by Cerner, an IT company. The letters should have been sent by doctors at Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals in north London to GPs after consultations with 22,144 patients between June last year and last month. However, a “clinical harm review” is under way after it was found they had not been dispatched.

The incident has prompted concern among GPs and patient representatives. “Patients who have attended these two hospitals will now be very worried about whether their care might have been compromised by this IT bungle”, said Rachel Power, the chief executive of the Patients Association.

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Source: The Guardian, 18 February 2020

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