London Ambulance Service Software Failure Essay

1761 words - 8 pages

London Ambulance Service Software Failure
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) responds between 2000 and 2500 calls per day with a fleet of 750 vehicles, in less than three minutes. Their system was originally manually operated where details of an incident call taken by a control assistant is used to ascertain the location of an incident scene through the use of a map book. This information is then passed to a dispatch team who direct the appropriate ambulance to the incident scene through a radio call.
Due to the short comings of this manual system, the LAS thought to computerize its dispatch system in 1987. The first attempt was started in the 1980’s, abandoned in 1990 and failed after ...view middle of the document...

By Tuesday afternoon the situation escalated to the point that the system had to be shut down and dispatchers went back to using a combination of computerized call taking methods and locating ambulances manually. This solution, with the additional call taking staff added to each shift, seemed to improve call waiting time. This method of dealing with emergency calls carried on for 7 days until the 4th November 1992 when the system slowed and locked up all together. Rebooting the system failed to correct the problem, the backup system failed to cut in leaving the control room staff no alternative but to revert back to the fully manual paper based system. The CAD system finally crashed on 4 November 1992, 9 days after the launch.

20 deaths are suspected to have been caused by the delays. People were waiting half an hour to be answered by emergency services, and ambulances arrived 11 hrs after the initial call.
Management Problems
The CAD System commenced when there was unhealthy working relationship and lack of trust between the staff and management of LAS. Majority of the staff felt that the working conditions were deteriorating and the management style was seen to be bureaucratic and uncaring. Appointment of a tough new Chief Executive of LAS led to a massive reorganization and reduction of about 20% in the number of managers. This in turn resulted to exodus of highly experienced staff and increased stress on the remaining managers.
LAS management underestimated the enormous task associated with changing from the manual operation of the LAS to a fully computerized system.

Furthermore, LAS board members were appointed without knowing their responsibilities, absence of effective control at the top and inability to manage lower down led to a series of flaws in the project and its eventual collapse.

Preconditions of the CAD contract
LAS top management set a nonnegotiable date of 8 January 1992 for full implementation by the LAS CAD system, meaning that the contractors had barely 6 months to fully accomplish their task, in which many LAS staff considered the time to be inadequate and inflexible.
Another string which the LAS top management attached to the contract was cost restriction, which was pegged at maximum of £1.5 million. This was just one fifth of the money spent on the failed first attempt of the LAS CAD project. The cheapest supplier was accepted and a small software house was awarded the contract without any prior experience with similar emergency service system.

System Specifications and Design
A project committee was tasked to develop the SRS (system requirements specification) for the Project. The ambulance crews being key players in the LAS Dispatch System had little involvement in the entire process. Moreover, LAS top management failed to follow the guidelines of the UK Government project management methodology; the PRINCE (Project in Controlled Environment) in the design and implementation of the project.
...

Other Essays Like London Ambulance Service Software Failure

Vw Type 2 Camper Essay

5442 words - 22 pages software (if any), any fonts, icons, images or sound files included with the software, and also any Microsoft updates, upgrades, supplements or services for the software, unless other terms come with them. It also applies to Windows apps developed by Microsoft that provide functionality such as contacts, music, photos and news that are included with and are a part of Windows. If this agreement contains terms regarding a feature or service not

Roles of Responsibilities of Emergency Response

1910 words - 8 pages . When responding to an emergency Ambulance response drivers will turn their sirens and lights on to get to the scene as quickly as possible. Once at the scene it is down the paramedics to assess the scene and recognise which casualties need attending too. From personal experience working with the ambulance service I have been told on a number of occasions that the way they determine who needs the most help is by the people who are not making noise or

Draft Scientific Paper

3506 words - 15 pages people. Individuals, teams, management, or the profession may make these decisions. The software engineering decision how to design the release of an airbag will affect the lives of others. This technical decision is also guided by an ethical decision about human values. Barry Boehm (1981) begins his work on software engineering economics with an anecdote about how the failure to consider human values affected the development of software for a

Should Businesses Move to the Cloud?

667 words - 3 pages , reliability, and redundancy—all on a “pay-for-service” model that can significantly reduce costs. Businesses that use cloud infrastructure as a service can save money on hardware and software purchases because they do not have to build an IT infrastructure. They can save time and money by not having to hire an IT professional to manage, install, configure, and maintain a private IT infrastructure. Businesses with limited facilities can also save space

Technical Writer

1407 words - 6 pages event such audit discloses that the Permitted Number of Computers is exceeded, Customer shall promptly pay to Cisco the appropriate licensee fee for the additional computers or users. At Cisco's option, Cisco may terminate this license for failure to pay the required license fee. Customer may make one (1)archival copy of the Software provided Customer affixes to such copy all copyright, confidentiality, and proprietary notices that appear on

Major Computer System Failures Caused By Software Bugs

2156 words - 9 pages . According to news reports in April of 2004, a software bug was determined to be a major contributor to the 2003 Northeast blackout, the worst power system failure in North American history. The failure involved loss of electrical power to 50 million customers, forced shutdown of 100 power plants, and economic losses estimated

Legal Issues Essay: Open Versus Closed

3366 words - 14 pages such as Microsoft, public perception and corporate image are integral to their business model. [12] Any high profile failure of software would result in serious repercussions. The accountability of a company upon production of a substandard product is usually not a matter for discussion, although there may be internal isolation of teams or individuals, who would then be seen to be publicly dismissed. Therefore as companies have such a high level

It Assignment

1564 words - 7 pages few have continued to use the software and related subscription fees. Users often charge a monthly service fee operating software. Many enterprise Web applications using different models. Fees are considered "subscription fee." You may not access the data stored on the Web application if you do not renew. Connectivity Web applications rely on unmanaged and persistent connections. You cannot access the information if your host does not have

Computer Information System Paper

1056 words - 5 pages service availability and reduced cost of incident response. Another accounting is the “Nagios accounting network management software displays the real time status of each host and network node and each service running; and display warnings and raises alarms when a service failure is detected. When then integrated with SDT Connector and Opengear console servers you gain point and click access and control of all these hosts and services from

Red Cross

2312 words - 10 pages in hand with the PRCS in order to provide several services mainly rapid ambulance services, medical fund for those that are unable to pay for their own bills, an education fund for students that are unable to pay for their schooling. They also have a small dowry fund for families that cannot afford the wedding of their daughters in this service they receive furniture and clothing donations as well, a funeral fund, and a recent project started in

Software Patents Must be Eliminated

5270 words - 22 pages being threatened with Cadtrak's exclusive-or patent.) The X Window System project was intended to develop a window system that all developers could use freely. This public service goal seems to have been thwarted by patents. Why Software Is Different Software systems are much easier to design than hardware systems of the same number of components. For example, a program of 100,000 components might be 50,000 lines long and could be written

Related Papers

The Past 150 Years Of Health

589 words - 3 pages survival rate of cardiac arrest; ‘32% of London Ambulance Service patients whose heart stopped beating were resuscitated and discharged from hospital in 2011/12, compared to just five per cent 10 years ago.’ (London Ambulance Service, 2012) References Computerweekly.com,. (2014). Case Study: The North Yorkshire Ambulance Service uses cutting edge UPS technology. Retrieved 12 December 2014, from http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Case-Study

Software Piracy Under Ipr Regime Essay

2525 words - 11 pages not. 3 Definition of Software Piracy Stealing software is a bad idea. A programmer developed the software, and that person expects to be paid. People routinely steal other people's software, and it's a terrible injustice to those who spend their lives writing code. It's not only Bill Gates, but the struggling programmer without a degree who is just trying to survive. Most new businesses go bankrupt anyway, and the failure rate in high

Software Engineering Essay

2776 words - 12 pages development and hardware manufacturing, yet the two activities are fundamentally different. 2) Software does not wear out but deteriorates due to changes. • Software is not susceptible to the environment maladies that cause hardware to wear out. Software undergoes changes during its life. As changes are made, it is likely that errors will be introduced; causing the failure and thus increased failure rate indicates the

Office Administration Essay

5442 words - 22 pages software (if any), any fonts, icons, images or sound files included with the software, and also any Microsoft updates, upgrades, supplements or services for the software, unless other terms come with them. It also applies to Windows apps developed by Microsoft that provide functionality such as contacts, music, photos and news that are included with and are a part of Windows. If this agreement contains terms regarding a feature or service not