PERFORMANCE: July board papers reveal the trust suffered a “complete shut down” of its IT system and hospital switchboard for over six hours on 20 July.

As part of the trust’s estates and facilities business continuity and resilience program, the hospital’s emergency generators were tested – a procedure which takes place every six weeks and includes starting the generators and running them at full load for a short time, to check that all the trust’s essential areas of power are well served.

However, the papers show that the switch over to the generators caused an “unexpected complete shut down” of the supposed “uninterruptable power supply” which serves the trust’s central data centre and switchboard in the womens’ and childrens’ block.

This caused a complete shut down of the IT systems and switchboard in the hospital.

According to the board papers, the “sudden loss had a profound effect on all the trust’s IT and communications systems” and, although no patients came to any harm, a number had to have their appointments rescheduled or were sent to their GP for treatment.