Patients have been warned of possible delays at four Greater Manchester hospitals because of an IT failure that left some waiting 11 hours at A&E.
Hospitals in Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester General Hospital are “having problems with disruption and instability” with digital clinical systems, the local NHS trust said on Tuesday.
The problems started last Wednesday, according to the Northern Care Alliance’s NHS Foundation Trust. Sky News understands that they are purely technical and do not involve a cyber attack.
Among the hardest hit departments is A&E at Royal Oldham, which, according to the Manchester Evening News, reports that the hospital has reported a serious incident.
The paper suggests that serious incidents will soon be announced in other hospitals as well as the burden of IT errors is placing on care delivery.
A hospital employee told the newspaper: “Every part of the hospital is affected. The CT scan is not informed, the blood collection is delayed. Everything is delayed. [It’s] causing serious delays to the patient”.
The trust said its digital IT team “continues to investigate the issues with the relevant technology vendors to address this issue” but did not provide a schedule for when hospitals will return to normal.
‘Some patients may experience delays’
Chris Brookes, the foundation’s deputy chief executive officer, said “their clinical teams are continuing to rely on our robust contingency plans for such serious incidents”.
He added: “Patient safety and maintaining essential services remain our priorities. We are doing everything we can to fix IT issues and limit disruption to our patients and services.
“Unfortunately, however, some patients may experience some delays and extra waits for some of our services, such as outpatient appointments, diagnostic tests or scans. We apologize for this.”
“All patient records and personal data held by the NHS and Trust remain safe and unaffected,” he asserted.