Patients warned of delays due to IT system failures at four Greater Manchester hospitals | Science and technology news


Patients have been warned to expect delays at four Greater Manchester hospitals as IT outages kept A&E waiting some 11 hours.

Hospitals in Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester General Hospital are experiencing “interruption and instability issues” with digital clinical systems, the local NHS Trust said on Tuesday.

The troubles began last Wednesday, according to the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust. Sky News understands that they are purely technical in nature and have nothing to do with a cyber attack.

One of the hardest-hit departments is the Emergency Room at Royal Oldham, according to the Manchester Evening News, which reported the hospital had reported a critical incident.

The newspaper indicated that critical incidents would soon be reported in the other hospitals as well, as the IT outages would strain care.

A hospital worker told the newspaper: “Every part of the hospital is affected. CT scans cannot be reported, blood delayed. Everything delayed. [It’s] causing serious delays for patients.”

The Trust said its digital IT team “continues to investigate the issues with the relevant technology providers to resolve this” but gave no timeline for when hospitals would be back to normal.

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“Some patients may experience delays”

dr Chris Brookes, Executive Vice President of the Trust, said its “clinical teams continue to rely on our robust contingency plans for such critical incidents.”

He added: “Patient safety and maintaining essential services remain our priority. We are doing everything we can to fix IT issues and limit disruption to patients and our services.

“Unfortunately, however, some patients may experience delays and additional waiting times for some of our services such as outpatient appointments, diagnostic tests or scans. We are sorry about that.”

He confirmed: “All patient records and personal data held by the NHS and Trust will remain secure and untouched.”

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