Hospital bosses have halted a £1.9m hi-tech scheme to use speech recognition software to write letters to patients after major problems.
The technology, which also includes a digital dictation system, was being introduced in Leeds’s five hospitals to speed up the process and save cash.
But now managers have been forced to halt its roll-out after “performance problems” – which one patient group says are causing delays, putting people at risk.
An email to staff, seen by the Yorkshire Evening Post, said: “Firstly, we would like to offer our sincere apologies that you have been impacted in this way.
“It was clearly never our intention the introduction of a new software product would be anything other than beneficial in our journey towards the increased use of technology to support high quality patient care.”
A patient group has written to the chairman of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust about their “significant concerns”.
Victor Boughton, chairman of the Leeds Dermatology Patient Panel, said delays in letters being sent out stood at around 60 days.
“It is a critical problem which is very much affecting patient care and safety and putting patients at risk,” he added.
A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals said: “Introducing new systems into an already complex technological environment inevitably results in a few problems. Where this causes particular difficulty it is right to pause so we can review the best way to resolve those difficulties.
“In dermatology, any problems with the technology have been compounded by local issues and we acknowledge this has resulted in delays, which we regret. We are taking actions to address the situation in this specialty and expect to resolve it shortly.”