• Leeds and Bradford trusts cancel 132 operations
  • IT system may not be fully restored until the end of this week
  • Other hospitals in Yorkshire now providing pathology services to Bradford hospital and Leeds GPs

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust has said it has now successfully cleared a backlog of thousands of pathology tests after a major IT fault that is now in its second week.

More than 100 operations have been cancelled at the hospital after the collapse of its pathology system meant test results had to be hand delivered by porters to clinical teams before being manually matched to the patients.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, which uses Leeds’ system, told HSJ it had cancelled 19 operations but since Friday has been able to access alternative pathology services from nearby trusts in Yorkshire. GPs in Leeds can now request routine blood tests as normal, after cancelling them for two days last week.

Inpatient, day case and outpatient appointments at Leeds hospital were expected to return to normal today.

The trust is believed to use a version of CSC’s iLab system called Telepath, which experienced a major hardware fault on 16 September. The trust said it is not expecting the system to be back up and running as normal until the end of this week.

An email leaked to HSJ last week revealed the trust had a 10,000 backlog of tests and some tests being delivered to the wrong area and having incorrect patient identifier information.

Suzanne Hinchliffe, chief nurse and deputy chief executive at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “We have made good progress over the weekend in addressing the serious issues affecting our ability to deliver a full pathology service.

“Our teams have been working hard with internal and external partners to resolve the IT issues and we have also put in place temporary arrangements for alternative testing to minimise the impact on patient care. We have processed all known requests and there is now no backlog for both primary and secondary care.”

She added: “We recognise that it is taking a significant time to restore the IT system but this is a very complex issue. We have already restored our blood transfusion system and this is now operating as normal and we continue to work on our blood sciences systems with some being ready for testing by Wednesday.”

She said 113 patients had their operations cancelled but: “We hope to have full functionality restored and back to normal clinical practice by the end of the week.

“Our chief executive, Julian Hartley, has been closely involved in resolving the issues and has been speaking to staff and patients; liaising with partners, suppliers and our own teams to ensure a collaborative system-wide approach. He has given his personal apologies in a letter to patients affected by this issue.”