A heart attack victim died during a software failure that saw an ambulance service have to revert back to a paper-and-pen system, HSJ can reveal.

The London Ambulance Service is investigating its control room’s response to the patient in Barnet on 8 June.

As HSJ reported last month, staff were left relying on pen and paper for 15 hours after the first attempt to introduce CommandPoint call handling software on UK ambulances failed in June.

The trust has opened two serious incident investigations, one relating to the death in Barnet, the other to the failure of the system to go live. 

The trust is investigating whether the two events were connected and the report on the fatality is due at the end of September.

Recently published minutes of a board meeting in June said four issues with the system had been identified.

According to minutes, IT director Peter Suter said: “The testing…had not been sufficient, although it was recognised that it was difficult to replicate a live environment.”

A trust spokeswoman said: “We are still looking into the circumstances surrounding our response to a patient in cardiac arrest on June 8. We are also working with our supplier Northrop Grunman to investigate the problems we encountered with CommandPoint when it went live.

“We do however expect to reintroduce CommandPoint in the early part of 2012 after we are completely satisfied that the system problems have been resolved.”

Karen Williams from Northrop Grumman said three out of four problems had been resolved and Northrop Grumman was working with Microsoft to resolve the remaining issue.