Image copyright CherriesJD/Getty Images Image caption Public accounts committee chairman Nick Ramsay said he hopes the report is a "wake-up call to those involved"

Computer systems in the Welsh health service are "outdated" and failures are having a "negative impact" on patients, according to a new report.

An Assembly inquiry questioned the "competence, capability and capacity" of the body that looks after IT, the NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS).

There were 21 systems outages in the first half of this year, according to the public accounts committee.

The NWIS and Welsh Government said they would review the findings in detail.

Committee chairman Nick Ramsay said the cross-party report had uncovered a "raft of problems" in the dysfunctional system.

"As we begin scrutinising one area, we find that other, equally serious questions arise elsewhere," the report said.

"As a consequence, we are anxious that our scrutiny has merely scratched the surface of NWIS' problems."

NWIS was launched in 2003 to deliver technology and digital services for patient care in Wales.

Establishing electronic patient records in Wales was one of its main projects.

But the report said there were "too many cases (where) the NHS relies on outdated, paper-based records" when electronic records could lead to better patient care.

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NHS Wales and its computer network
  • 90,000 IT users at NHS Wales

  • 7m external emails a month

  • 70m internal emails

  • 70 software services operated by NHS Wales Informatics

  • 600 staff, mainly at Cardiff, Swansea and Mold

Getty Images
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