NHS Email System on its Knees As 'Reply All' Chaos Hits 1.2 Million Staff

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Think you're having a bad Monday? An IT guy carrying out work for the NHS is currently being ripped to shreds by his colleagues -- and millions of Twitter users -- after kicking off a small chain of events that reportedly concluded with the entire system crashing.

The poor chap, described as a “senior ICT delivery facilitator” based in Croydon, accidentally sent a test message to all 1.2 million members of NHS staff this morning. However, the real trouble began when some particularly short-fused recipients of the message decided to complain about it. Only they did so by using the ‘Reply All’ function rather than plain old ‘Reply’.

According to The Register, up to 80 people had done exactly that by 11.30 this morning, leading to the NHS’ entire email system slowing to a crawl and locking some users out of their Outlook Web Access accounts.

“An issue with a distribution list has meant that several test emails have been widely received by users,” reads a statement on the NHS’ service status page. “This has been exacerbated by recipients replying in response and increasing the volume of emails associated with the list.

“The impact of this issue has meant that some users are unable to access OWA due to the volume of emails being circulated. The distribution list has been removed and associated emails are being traced and cleared.” [Register, Telegraph]