Hospital electronic systems changes are due in 2024 as councillors highlighted concerns if the move is not delivered on time.

Representatives from NHS trusts, including Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust, were quizzed by Hertfordshire councillors over necessary improvements to IT systems, at a meeting addressing the findings of the Ockenden Report.

The report - published in March - identified “patterns of repeated poor care” in the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust’s maternity services between 2000 and 2019.

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The report also called for “meaningful change” throughout England.

St Albans Councillor Chris White said: “One could be forgiven for being a bit shocked by some of this.

“What hasn’t been happening is common sense management.

“I’m not sure whether Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) in Harlow is still using paper and they’re trying to move to IT, or whether they’ve got past that 1970s ‘thing’.

“I’m not sure we’re moving fast enough on getting rid of paper..."

Harpenden South West Cllr Teresa Heritage added: “I’ve heard it said the IT systems are clunky.

“NHS systems have been clunky ever since I joined (the) council in 2006. There should be one record for each person.

“There shouldn’t be this issue about not knowing what a person is presenting with.

“I find that really quite shocking in this day and age.”

Trust director of midwifery and gynaecology, Giuseppe Labriola, said: “We are progressing improvements to our IT systems to enable us to further streamline and enhance the service we provide to women and families.

“In line with other hospitals, we are working to roll out a new electronic patient record (EPR) system at the earliest opportunity, which is anticipated to be 2024.

“Our current IT systems continue to be safe for all of our patients across the hospital.”

The hospital said that the new electronic patient record system will revolutionise care for patients and all patients’ records will be directly transferred online.

It added that the IT problems were unrelated to delays previously reported on the outpatients’ telephone appointment booking line.