The London Ambulance Service NHS Trust has finally gone live with its CommandPoint computer aided dispatch system.

The trust tried to launch the Northrop Grumman software last June, but the switch-over caused so many problems the control room was forced to revert to paper until its old CTAK system could be switched back on.

However, after conducting three live tests that successfully handled emergency calls through the system, the trust decided to fully implement the new software yesterday, at 3am.

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “During the implementation process, we will be closely monitoring 999 calls to ensure our most seriously ill and injured patients continue to receive a fast response.

“As with the introduction of any large, complex technical system, we anticipate there may be some teething problems and we recognise that it will take time for our staff to get used to the new system.”

An investigation found found last summer’s attempted go-live led to a delayed response to some calls. One patient died in one of the calls affected.

However, an investigation concluded that it could not be determined whether the patient would have survived if the response had been faster.

Another investigation found that critical configuration issues were not identified during the testing phase, that there were no operational procedures in place for a critical system failure, and that the product failed to deliver the functionality expected.

However, the trust spokesperson said: “We are confident that lessons have been learnt from our first attempt to bring in the system, and the problems we encountered last time have been corrected.”

London Ambulance Service had threatened to reconsider its contract with American supplier Northrop Grumman if it could not get the software live. It also said that if this week’s go-live failed, it would not try to implement a new system until after the summer Olympics.

Related Content