NHS told to act on bug problem

NHS told to act on bug problem
Political Correspondent The National Health Service has been told to take urgent action to deal with the problem of embedded chips failing in life-critical equipment on the Year 2000 date change. The warning has come from an all-party group of MPs which said that one trust had identified 7,000 pieces of its medical equipment at risk from Millennium bug failure. And out of the 7,000, only 200 have a true date time function. The report on The Year 2000 – Computer Compliance from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee accuses the NHS of lagging behind the rest of the public sector – which it condemns as acting more slowly on the issue than leading private sector firms. It reveals that: “The Medical Devices Agency has now requested all suppliers to identify which of their products may be susceptible to century date change problems and NHS Regional Offices are now considering ways in which testing might be conducted on a regional basis.” The committee says that while the risk to the NHS might be exaggerated, it stresses that NHS trusts must speed up the testing of their equipment as “it is essential to guarantee that the NHS is fully prepared to manage the century date change”.


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