HSJ’s round-up of the day’s essential health stories

Turn it off, turn it on again

Two more examples of the technology challenge facing the NHS have emerged this week.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust declared a serious incident after uncovering the glitch in its Lorenzo patient administration system meant more than 14,000 patients were not sent appointment letters.

Ten patients waited more than a year to be seen and 116 patients were offered new appointments in January and February.

The trust worked with Lorenzo supplier DXC Technology to change the process of creating appointment letters and has contacted other trusts to share the programme.

Meanwhile, imaging services at Barts Health Trust have been down for a number of days following a “major” IT failure.

The London trust is recovering from a “major computer equipment failure” that disrupted its pathology and imaging services over the weekend. The pathology system is back online but the disruption meant it had a “backlog” of tests.

HSJ’s new tech correspondent Ben Heather warned that this type of incident will keep happening unless there is investment in the NHS IT infrastructure.

In recent years, significant amounts of funding earmarked for tech has been cut or raided for other sectors.

Election 2017: Labour pledges NHS staff pay rise

Both the health secretary and his shadow were on the campaign trail on Wednesday, with Labour’s Jon Ashworth giving some policy hints and Jeremy Hunt focusing on Brexit.

Mr Ashworth announced that if it forms the next government, Labour will introduce a “new law to make safe staffing legally enforceable”.

He also committed to scrapping the 1 per cent annual pay rise cap – in force since 2013-14 following a two year pay freeze.

Meanwhile, on Radio 4 and the Good Morning Britain sofa, Mr Hunt said the NHS’s financial future depended on a successful Brexit deal.

He told the nation’s early risers: “If we get a bad outcome, it will be terrible for the British economy. We won’t be able to lock in our recovery, there will be less money for the NHS – all of our public services…

“If you want to get more money into the NHS, if you want to pay nurses more – and we all want to do that – there is only one thing that matters in this election and that is getting a good outcome from the Brexit negotiations.”