Disruption continues after Lincolnshire hospitals cyber attack

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Appointments and operations at hospitals in North Lincolnshire will be cancelled again tomorrow after IT systems were hit by a virus -while other hospitals in the county will begin to resume service.

As reported previously, a virus infected the electronic systems for Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals on Sunday, October 30.

As a result, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust shut down the majority of systems to isolate and destroy it.

Due to hospitals across the rest of Lincolnshire sharing the same IT system, all operations across Lincoln, Grantham and Boston were also cancelled on Monday, October 31, leading to disruption in A&E and outpatient departments.

NLAG has confirmed operations and appointments in the north of the county would be cancelled again on Wednesday, November 2, with some exceptions:

  • Audiology
  • Physiological measurements
  • Antenatal
  • Community and therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Paediatrics
  • Gynaecology
  • Immunology
  • Cardiothoracic and vascular appointments with visiting consultants from Hull

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

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust deputy chief executive Dr Karen Dunderdale said: “The trust is still working under major incident status following Sunday’s cyber attack.

“Patients who have appointments in all other departments, including surgery, should assume their appointment/procedure is cancelled unless they receive a telephone call to say otherwise. All cancelled appointments will be rescheduled as soon as possible.”

Lincoln, Grantham and Boston resuming some services

Photo: The Lincolnite

Photo: The Lincolnite

Health bosses at the trust responsible for hospitals in the central Lincolnshire area have said services will begin to resume from Wednesday, however some disruptions across A&E departments are expected to continue.

A small number of operations will also be cancelled.

Andrew Prydderch, Deputy Director of Urgent Care said: “We are asking all patients to please turn up to their appointment as planned, unless they hear otherwise.

“We may still cancel a very small number of operations until all systems are back working but our doctors are working hard to keep this to an absolute minimum.

“Unfortunately patients attending A&Es or outpatient clinics at any of our hospitals will still face delays. During this time we are asking patients to bear with us.

“People will have to wait longer to be seen, appointments may be delayed and there will be longer waits for tests which cannot be avoided.

“Our A&Es are open, but we urge everyone to think twice before they go to A&E – if it’s not serious or life threatening, you shouldn’t be there. Many illnesses can be better treated by visiting your local pharmacy, calling NHS 111, visiting your local GP, GP out of hours services, or attending a walk in centre or a minor injuries unit”.

GPs also affected

Health bosses have said that the computer hack which lead to the cancellations across Lincolnshire hospitals has also affected community health services and GPs.

A spokesperson for the Lincolnshire West CCG, which is responsible for GPs in the Lincoln area, said: “The shutdown of IT systems means that, for some GP practices, electronic requesting and results reporting is unavailable.

“Therefore, some practices are, for today at least, having to revert to manual systems until full services are re-established.

“This means that forms and reports are being handwritten and referrals are being sent by letter rather than electronically.

“In addition, appointments with doctors and other healthcare professionals are subject to some disruption, and samples being sent to pathology are being sent to other sites for processing.”

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