Department of Work and Pensions Computer Crash

  gudgulf 23:01 27 Nov 2004

During a *routine* software update click here

Does anyone know what update ? Not Servicepack 2 I hope!

  stalion 23:15 27 Nov 2004

Just goes to show what could happen in the future with so many companies relying now solely on computer technology.I would expect by the law of averages their will be a major crash one day throwing everything in to chaos.

  gudgulf 23:31 27 Nov 2004

I must say I posted this from the perspective of an NHS employee and the Governments intention to digitise and computerise the whole of medical records/appointment bookings on a national basis ......sounds like a good idea but things like this are sounding alarm bells very loudly in my ears at the moment!

I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  Forum Editor 00:17 28 Nov 2004

and is one of the risks we run when we commit so completely to computerised systems. We have no choice but to commit if we want the kind of society that we are accustomed to - it would no longer be possible for the country to run on a daily basis without the hundreds of thousands of powerful servers which keep both the public and private sectors working.

Mistakes will happen, and we must plan for them and recover from them as rapidly as possible. The media have made much of the DWP problem, saying it's the worst failure in recent years, but I personally doubt that and I'm sure there'll be others in the future. The way to handle it is not to over-react and listen to the doom and gloom merchants who go around blaming computers for absolutely everything that goes wrong. If we keep our sense of perspective we'll be fine. This incident is so newsworthy because there's the potential for hardship if the system fails to generate cheques. I understand that hasn't happened - some cheques had to be hand-written, but that's hardly the end of the world as we know it.

  Valvegrid 09:20 28 Nov 2004

As you are an NHS employee , like myself, so I think you'll understand.

Medical equipment using Windows technology, which used as a stand-alone is fine, but being capable of being connected to the internet? I'm not so sure.

  georgemac 10:02 28 Nov 2004

when I go to the docs, I see the cabinet full of the paper files getting ever bigger, and the secretary having to climb higher to retrieve these, and depending on the doc, it is a struggle to read some of these.

Surely when these are all computerised, and can be accessed not only at the surgery, but at any UK casualty department, this will be an enormous benefit to medical professionals, with all allergies, vaccinations and medical history available at the click of a mouse?

As long as proper and robust backup systems are in place, and highly skilled & properly trained IT professionals are in charge of the network, I think it will improve things.

The backup is the most important, eventually I'm sure we will move away from paper, so how do we ensure if the system goes down, something as critical as medical notes can still be accessed?

Do not know about actual medical equipment connected to the internet?

My son was recently at the orthodontist, went to the x-ray dept which is in another building, the x-ray was available for immediate viewing in the orthodontists computer in her consulting room, no nurse running about for x-rays - seems like progress to me, this would be especially beneficial in small rural hospitals so consultants in th city could view information and advise on treatment reqd?

  spuds 11:42 28 Nov 2004

This computer breakdown situation is more common than the public realize, it only comes to light when it involves masses of the general public. Yesterday there was a article in a well known daily newspaper, which itemized the various government departments that had experienced major computer problems through upgrading and the like. Very depressing reading, considering the millions of pound that had to be spent on correcting these issues.In most cases it resulted in armies of 'manual' workers having to be brought in, so as to overcome the increasing backlogs that were being experienced, all to the detriment of the general public.

Recently I was involved with my local large hospital and their updated computerized system.The ENT and the Hearing Services departments do not communicate with each other. Both have their own separate computer systems, which do not seem to share any or the same information.The result is that the staff and the patients are both confused.

We are constantly being informed that the internet is overloaded, and that masses of money is being diverted into the IT industry,But where will it all lead to, if there is a world-wide failure. Doesn't bear thinking about. I suppose it will be back to bed with a flask of hot soup and a battery powered or cats whiskered radio :o)

  gudgulf 11:44 28 Nov 2004

Please understand that I am not *against* the computerisation project in any way.The concept would be absolutely fantastic if it works.Whats more as a Radiographer I work in a department where full computerisation is almost complete with all imaging being handled digitally and viewed on dedicated workstations or on ward desktop pc's via an intranet connection.Much of the clerical work is in the process of being transferred to a pc rather than paper database and all internal patient referals are computer based.

Nevertheless I do wonder how well the national scheme will be implemented given the truly vast scale of the undertaking.

It is going to be very much in the public eye if things go wrong.

  jack 16:13 28 Nov 2004

More that 20 years ago I was a mature newby working for a mailorder frim that was/is totally computerized. Down the road to us in another unit
was a firm with a massive press. from time to time
this thing would 'flip' and send a spike through the mains and kill our computer,Even then there was no manual alternative the firm lived and died by that computer - no computer no orders taken ,no deliveries made. The people who ran that firm
had no idea about protection- until I mentioned it -and I was not then a 'computerist'.
It is amzing how folk put blind faith in modern technology, with out themselves mugging up on at least basics.

  spikeychris 17:56 28 Nov 2004

My wifes a manager at the DWP and they have been sat on their hands all week with nothing to do. There is some kind of emergency contingency plan that they where intending on rolling out but they all are convinced its M$'s fault. My wife and her friends know absolutely nothing about computers but Microsoft are now off their Christmas list.

  stalion 20:42 28 Nov 2004

Most companies employ a computer programming company to implement software and the general running of thier systems.Absolutely nothing to do with Microsoft.Regards

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