Repeated outages that caused “significant disruption” to GP surgeries across the country on Friday has been resolved, according to a spokesperson for EMIS, which provides a range of services including prescription management, patient records and appointment booking.  

EMIS Web has been available for all practices today,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We are very sorry for the significant disruption caused by the technical problems experienced on Friday 26th May. The cause of the issue was identified and resolved the same day.” 

The company did not provide further details about the reason for the problems, which left many GPs unable to prescribe or easily view patient records, but one GP sent Digital Health a message sent to all EMIS practices from EMIS Health CEO Suzy Foster.

The message said: “Understandably you want to know what happened. In short, we released some code to fix a bug that was causing EMIS Web to crash. This fix should have only been deployed to practices using Resource Publisher (RP) but due to human error it was applied to sites still using Template Manager, which caused it to stop working and this then had a knock-on effect across the system. We also experienced issues with EMIS Now due to the unprecedented number of calls and chats we received.”

HSJ reported Tuesday that “thousands” of practices were affected. EMIS’s electronic patient record system is used by the majority of NHS GPs in the UK. 

“We are in touch with our customers to explain what happened and to share the immediate changes we are implementing to ensure it never happens again,” the EMIS statement concluded. 

In March, an initial investigation by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that UnitedHealth’s £1.2bn proposed deal to buy EMIS could reduce competition, leading to worse outcomes for the NHS and ultimately patients and UK taxpayers.