The IT network issue which forced NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to postpone more than 700 patient appointments over the past three days has been fixed.

The problems which began Tuesday morning, meant staff were struggling to connect to clinical and administrative systems.

The Scottish health secretary, Alex Neil, told the Scottish Parliament that in light of the IT issues at Greater Glasgow and Clyde, he has launched a national investigation.

“I have already instructed a robust review right across the NHS in Scotland with all the NHS boards to ensure that the IT systems, including the back-up systems, are robust,” he said.

He added that his officials would continue to work with Glasgow to establish what caused the problems.

“ I have asked that the board keep in close contact with my officials to ensure that we are fully apprised of the situation going forward,” he said.

“In addition, my officials will work closely with the board to establish the root cause of the incident and share the lessons with other NHS boards.”

The health board’s chief executive, Robert Calderwood, said that the problems were related to the Microsoft Active Directory, but has now been resolved.

“The unprecedented IT issue related to our network and the way staff connected to some of our clinical and administrative systems,” he said.

“The situation is that as users log on they go through a system called Microsoft Active Directory, a router system which recognises users and allows individual access to our clinical and administrative support systems.

“This was corrupted over the weekend which became apparent when staff logged on to the system on Tuesday after the holiday weekend.”

A statement from the health board, released today, says that the IT team and external experts from suppliers Microsoft and Charteris are still working to understand what caused the problem.

“At this stage it remains unknown what exactly caused this problem to occur in Glasgow and Clyde and this is one of the major issues and we continue to work closely with Microsoft to get to the root of the problem,” it says.

“No information had been lost, and any data gathered from appointments and treatments over the past three days will be manually added to the computer systems.”

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has been forced to cancel 599 outpatient appointments, 62 planned inpatient procedures and day cases and 48 chemotherapy treatments due to the IT problems.

Yesterday, Greater Glasgow and Clyde managed to re-establish a basic level of IT to “enable some of the clinical services affected to resume normally.”

“Although 709 patient episodes have had to be postponed our staff were able to see some 10,000 patients using manual back-up systems. I can also report today that some of the patients affected have already been re-appointed and will be seen in the next few days,” said Calderwood.

The health board covers 12 major hospital sites and 80 systems, which are linked through a clinical portal.

updated 10.00am 04.10.13