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Lessons for the future: Safety critical systems

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Abstract

This paper investigates the underlying flaws in the development of the LAS despatch system and compares it with similar attempts from across the globe. The common themes that seem to plague ambulance despatch systems are investigated and put into context and a set of recommendations and lessons is proposed. The question of professionalism and ethics stands out and leads to the recognition of the value of failure analysis in the context of information systems development. Failure it is argued, provides a great learning opportunity that may lead, when recognised, to enhanced professionalism and future success.