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Open Exeter - Cytology Information
Date: April 5, 2023
Open Exeter – Cytology Information

We are aware that some practices in Essex are experiencing problems logging into the Open Exeter system to see Cytology information. Staff are finding that they are unable to access the system if they have not used it for over 90 days. Some primary contacts are finding that permitted access is only to change passwords, and other access to the system has been revoked. Without access, smear takers or trainee smear takers are unable to check patient history etc. This is having an effect on those trainee smear takers in particular who without access, will fail exams. Patient safety is also compromised. We are aware that this is not an isolated incident as there have been many examples of granting access being a problem.

We have therefore raised this issue which in turn has been raised with the Primary Care Support Service Management Team of NHS England who have responded as below, referencing the latest position, the approach being taken, and the guidance that is available:

‘We are aware that Open Exeter passwords do expire quite quickly, currently they only last 30 days. This is something we are working with colleagues to change and improve but unfortunately development capacity hasn’t allowed to date. We have also recently been working with PCSE to revise the comms that goes out when either passwords are out of date, or when requests are submitted for new users to gain access. I have included the link below to the latest guidance – Screening Access – Primary Care Support England. PCSE will also be contacting practices where they can identify that passwords for the Primary User has expired with the guidance on how to reset. I am not aware of any actions taken with regards to revoking access, however I have asked PCSE if they can review your ICB and Essex area in particular for activity. 

Organisations should have at least one Primary Contact (also called a Primary User) who is responsible for organisational maintenance. Primary Contacts can create an Open Exeter account for a new user, reset user passwords, request additional permissions for users and remove access for users within your organisation. Users can check if they are the Primary Contact by following the steps on PCSE’s website: