- At least five trusts cancelled some appointments on Tuesday
- One said it was cancelling activity on Wednesday
- Many are still in the process of recovering IT systems
Many of the trusts most severely disrupted by Friday’s cyber attack are expecting to resume most patient services on Wednesday, but are still battling to restore IT systems.
HSJ is aware of five NHS trusts that cancelled outpatient appointments or elective operations on Tuesday, five days after at least 47 trusts were infected by an unprecedented ransomware attack that spread to more than 100 countries. These included Barts Health, Mid Essex Hospital Services, Colchester University Hospital FT, Northumbria Healthcare FT and Southport and Ormskirk Hospital.
Most were expecting to have the majority of patient services restored on Wednesday. However, many trusts which were affected by the ransomware were still working to restore their IT systems.
Barts Health, among the worst hit it the attack, was the only trust to confirm that it would still be cancelling some appointments and elective operations on Wednesday.
In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, Barts Health said while most operations and appointment would go ahead on Wednesday it had “reduced the volume of planned operations and clinics” across all five hospitals.
“We will prioritise clinically urgent appointments, and our clinical teams are reviewing all booked appointments to inform our decisions. In addition, we have asked all GPs in the area to avoid requesting non-urgent tests and scans from our hospitals.”
A trust spokeswoman confirmed the trust had yet to restore its IT systems and was largely working on paper.
“It is taking a bit longer than other trusts because of our size and complexity.”
On Tuesday afternoon, a Mid Essex Hospital Services spokeswoman said it was no longer diverting ambulances at Broomfield Hospital but was still “striving to restore normal business across the organisation”.
“We are in a period of recovery, having come out of a major incident following the ransomware attack on Friday.”
Since Friday, 27 elective operations have been cancelled and 28 outpatient appointments, although none of the latter for the past two days. The trust did not expect any further appointment or operation cancellations on Wednesday.
That has left East and North Hertfordshire as the only known trust still diverting ambulances, with a spokesman confirming on Tuesday afternoon that diversions at Lister Hospital covering major trauma and stroke patients requiring diagnosis remained in place.
Non-urgent blood tests were not being provided but patients were told to attend appointments unless advised otherwise.
“Things may take longer than normal, so thank you for your patience and understanding during this time,” a message on the trust’s website said.
On Tuesday, Colchester University Hospital FT postponed six elective operations but all outpatients appointments went ahead for the first time since the attack.
A trust spokesman said the trust was expecting both elective and outpatient activity would be back to normal on Wednesday.
However, many computers and some IT systems would still not been restored, such as pathology.
“We are a bit worried with the backlog issues with tests.”
Northumbria Healthcare FT had managed to restore CT and MRI scans for the first time on Tuesday, and were proceeding with most outpatient appointments.
However, the trust still cancelled another 20 elective operations requiring an overnight stay and all planned orthopaedic outpatient clinics on Tuesday.
A trust spokeswoman told HSJ some IT systems had been restored, and work was ongoing to restore others.
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital cancelled all outpatient, elective operations and CT and MRI scans on Tuesday.
However late on Tuesday afternoon, the trust said it expected to “begin returning services to normal on Wednesday”.