Hos­pi­tals can­cel ops after com­puter crash

Rochdale Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Char­lotte.cox@men-news.co.uk @ccox­men­media

ACOMPUTER crash forced staff at four hos­pi­tals to can­cel op­er­a­tions and ap­point­ments.

Staff at Royal Old­ham Hospi­tal, Fair­field Gen­eral, North Manch­ester Gen­eral and Rochdale In­fir­mary were also strug­gling to ac­cess pa­tient records and test re­sults.

The Pen­nine Acute Hos­pi­tals NHS Trust, which runs the sites, con­firmed at the time en­gi­neers were try­ing to fix the prob­lem, which be­gan at around 4am on Thurs­day morn­ing.

They stressed the crash had been caused by an in­ter­nal hard­ware is­sue as op­posed to an ex­ter­nal cy­ber at­tack or hack.

A Trust spokesman said A&E and ma­ter­nity ser­vices were not affected and that pa­tients sched­uled for out­pa­tient clin­ics and elec­tive op­er­a­tions should con­tinue to at­tend un­less they re­ceived a call from the trust to post­pone.

Some pa­tients due to at­tend for out­pa­tient clin­ics or elec­tive op­er­a­tions at the four hos­pi­tals on Thurs­day re­ceived can­cel­la­tion calls.

It is un­clear at the mo­ment how many pa­tients were affected by the hard­ware fail­ure.

It’s un­der­stood medics switched to a ‘pa­per-based op­er­a­tion’ but were hav­ing dif­fi­culty ac­cess­ing emails and some med­i­cal records.

The ra­di­ol­ogy and pathol­ogy de­part­ments were fac­ing par­tic­u­lar chal­lenges, it was un­der­stood.

Some sys­tems were still up and run­ning while oth­ers were down.

The hard­ware fail­ure fol­lowed a ‘few weeks’ of IT gl­itches which trust bosses say are un­re­lated to the prob­lems which be­gan on Thurs­day.

A medic called our sis­ter pa­per the M.E.N to com­plain that IT sys­tem prob­lems had been af­fect­ing pa­tient his­to­ries, test re­sults and data for ‘at least a week.’

But this has been de­nied by the Trust.

A spokesman for Pen­nine Acute Hos­pi­tals NHS Trust said on Thurs­day : “We are cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an IT hard­ware fault that is af­fect­ing ac­cess to some of our IT sys­tems and email across our four hos­pi­tals at The Royal Old­ham Hospi­tal, Fair­field Gen­eral Hospi­tal in Bury, Rochdale In­fir­mary and North Manch­ester Gen­eral Hospi­tal.

“Our A&E and Ma­ter­nity ser­vices are not affected.

“Pa­tients who are due to at­tend hospi­tal for an ap­point­ment to­day, in­clud­ing an elec­tive op­er­a­tion should con­tinue to at­tend their ap­point­ment un­less they hear di­rectly from the Trust.

“Pa­tient safety is our main pri­or­ity and we have tried and tested con­tin­gency plans in place at our hos­pi­tals and com­mu­nity ser­vices to en­sure ser­vices re­main safe and pa­tients are not un­duly affected.

“We are work­ing closely with our com­mis­sion­ers, health and so­cial care part­ners and GP prac­tices as part of our con­tin­gency plans in ev­ery ef­fort to limit the dis­rup­tion to pa­tients.”

He added: “We have IT en­gi­neers on site act­ing to re­solve this fault as soon as pos­si­ble.”

●●The four hos­pi­tals in Pen­nine Acute NHS Trust were all hit by the com­puter crash

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