A WINCHESTER GP surgery temporarily closed due to 'major IT issues'.

Patients were surprised to call St Paul’s surgery on Monday, February 26 and be given the following automated message: “Dear patients in a rare event we have had to close early due to exceeding work safety limits.”

Hampshire Chronicle: St Paul's SurgerySt Paul's Surgery

Patients have been told to use 999 for life-threatening medical issues, call 111 for urgent issues that can’t wait and to admit any non-urgent queries online.

The surgery in Alison Way, Oram's Arbour, re-opened on Tuesday, February 27 but is still not operating at full capacity.

Phil Heiden, managing partner at St Paul's Surgery, said: "It's very unfortunate that we, along with many other practices nationally experienced major IT issues today. We raised the issues with EMIS, our clinical system provider, early this morning. They inform us they are working to fix the problem.

"We struggled to book appointments, write up consultants or even see patients medical records, including, but not limited to results, medications, documents and more. We enacted our business continuity plan, resorting to paper consultations in some cases and communicated our challenges with patients via phone and website messages. We also informed our commissioners, HIOW ICB so that local support services such as 111 can be drafted in to support with same day urgent queries for those whose only contactable means is by telephone.

"For those with access to the Internet, we have asked them to complete an online accurx triage request. We are unsure how long the issue will remain. This is outside of our control. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused and our staff were doing their utmost to ensure safe clinical practice despite the challenges."

The practice is open, just not operating at full capacity. Patients can still walk in, use the online service and phone up but the staff are having to write down appointments rather than using the online booking system.