London Ambulance Service forced to manually log calls on New Year's Day due to 'technical difficulties'

Pen and paper used for calls in the early hours of the morning

Sunday 01 January 2017 10:46
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An Ambulance drives past London's City Airport
An Ambulance drives past London's City Airport

London Ambulance Service logged calls manually using pen and paper in the early hours of New Year’s Day due to “technical” issues at the control room.

The computer aided dispatch system failed to work, but patients were still prioritised on the severity of the incidents.

Peter McKenna, the service’s deputy director of operations, said: “Due to technical difficulties, our control room was logging emergency calls by pen and paper from 12.30am to 5.15am.

“Our control room staff are trained to operate in this way and continue to prioritise our response to patients with life-threatening conditions, using the same triage system as usual. We also have additional clinicians on duty to offer control room staff clinical advice if it is needed.”

The glitch hit as thousands of people saw in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display in London.

More than 12,000 fireworks transformed the capital’s skyline as Big Ben struck midnight.

Detective Superintendent Phil Langworthy, the Metropolitan Police’s spokesperson for the event, said: “Once again, the eyes of the world were on London and a truly spectacular event has been delivered here. Our focus, with other emergency services was ensuring the safety of all those attending the event tonight and our officers have also worked closely alongside stewards.

“Whilst the New Year’s Eve celebrations have come to a close, officers will continue to work through the night to get the streets back to normal in time for the New Year’s Day parade,” he added.

“The Command Team would like to thank the thousands of officers and staff who have been involved in the planning and delivery of tonight’s policing operation.

“We would also like to thank the British Transport Police, City of London Police, Transport for London, the Greater London Authority, the Mayor of London and the event company, for their continued support in working together to ensure this was a safe and successful event for everyone to be proud of.”

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