North East Lincolnshire

Computer virus causes operations to be cancelled at all Lincolnshire hospitals

An IT glitch at two Lincolnshire hospitals has meant that operations for tomorrow have been cancelled across the entire county.

A virus infected the electronic systems for Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals on Sunday, October 30.

Consequently, the majority of systems at the hospitals have now been shut down in order to isolate and destroy the virus.

Following the attack, all other Lincolnshire hospitals were forced to shut down the shared system and cancel all operations.

Delays are expected in all A&Es throughout the day as a result.

Mark Brassington, Chief Operating Officer at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, said: “Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLAG) has had to shutdown all their electronic systems due to a computer virus. ULHT shares four clinical IT systems with NLAG, so as a precautionary measure to protect ULHT, links with these shared systems have been stopped.

“We have a plan in place to minimise risks to patients which includes reverting to manual systems.

“The biggest impact on the Trust is in processing of blood tests, access to historical test results and availability of blood for blood transfusions.

“Our number one priority is keeping patients safe so we are cancelling all planned operations tomorrow (Tuesday 1 November) unless there is a clinical reason not to. We are trying to contact all patients, but patients due to have an operation on Tuesday are being asked to not turn up unless they hear otherwise.

“Patients attending A&E or an outpatient clinic at any of our hospitals will unfortunately face delays.”

Dr Karen Dunderdale, deputy chief executive for the Northern Lincolnshire and Google NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our main priority is patient safety.

“A major incident has been called and all planned operations, outpatient appointments and diagnostic procedures have been cancelled for today and tomorrow.

All adult patients (over 18) should presume their appointment/procedure has been cancelled unless they are contacted. Those who turn up will be turned away.

“Inpatients will continue to be cared for and discharged as soon as they are medically fit. Major trauma cases will be diverted to neighbouring hospitals as will high risk women in labour.

“While our emergency departments remain open and are accepting ambulances, we would urge people to only visit if they absolutely need to, i/e it is an accident or emergency.

“We are reviewing the situation on an hourly basis. Our clinicians will continue to see, treat and operate on those patients who would be at significant clinical risk should their treatment be delayed.

“Further updates will be posted on the trust website and social media channels.We would like to apologise to all patients who are affected.”

If you are unwell and unsure where to go for treatment call 111 for North Lincolnshire or 01472 256256 for North East Lincolnshire.