'Critical incident' declared as IT failure hits FOUR hospitals and patients warned to avoid emergency department

'Critical incident' declared as IT failure hits FOUR hospitals and patients warned to avoid emergency department

A 'CRITICAL incident' has been declared at FOUR hospitals after they were hit with an IT failure.

Hospital bosses in Greater Manchester are urging the public to avoid the emergency departments unless their issues are urgent and life-threatening.

Concerned staff say the IT crash has "affected every part" of Royal Oldham, Fairfield General, North Manchester General and Rochdale Infirmary.

The technical issues have been ongoing this week, leading to "severe delays" in patient care, reports Manchester Evening News.

Some people have had to wait for help for 11 hours, while sources told the paper that the issues are thought to continue for another 48 hours.

And a senior hospital source has suggested the critical incident is likely to be extended to the other impacted hospitals – on top of the four currently under the alert.

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Royal Oldham Hospital today declared a critical incident – but said that patients should still attend if it is necessary.

The A&E departments at Fairfield and North Manchester, and Rochdale's urgent care centre are said to be "coping," according to the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust.

Dcotors allegedly aren't able to access MRI and CT scan results – and appointments are being postponed by the tech issues.

Dr Chris Brookes, Deputy CEO and Chief Medical Officer for the Northern Care Alliance NHS Trust said: “We are still working hard to resolve the significant IT issues that have been affecting some of our digital systems at our hospitals at Oldham, Bury and Rochdale, as well as North Manchester General Hospital which is run by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. Salford Royal is unaffected.

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“This means that our clinical teams are continuing to rely on our robust contingency plans for such critical incidents. Patient safety and maintaining essential services remain our priority.

"We are doing everything we can to fix the IT issues and to limit the disruption to patients and our services.

"However, unfortunately, some patients may experience some delays and additional waiting across some of our services such as outpatient appointments, diagnostic tests or scans. We apologise for this.

“All patient records and personal data held by the NHS and Trust remain secure and unaffected.

"Patients who have a hospital appointment whether for planned surgery or as an outpatient should continue to attend unless they are contacted directly by the Trust and told otherwise.

“Our emergency departments are particularly busy at the moment.

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"For those who feel they need to attend our emergency departments, they are likely to be waiting longer than normal if they have minor ailments.

"We are asking the public to think carefully before attending. We would, as always, recommend that you contact NHS 111 or seek advice from your local pharmacy or GP.”

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