• Cause of IT crash currently unclear
  • Appointments and surgery cancelled for a second day

A West Midlands trust has cancelled surgery and other appointments for a second day an IT system crash.

University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust confirmed it was cancelling some electives on a “case-by-case basis” and all outpatient appointments on Wednesday because of “network issues”.

It comes after the trust cancels all electives and outpatient appointments on Tuesday after started losing access to email, telephone and some clinical IT systems from about mid-day.  

In a tweet on Tuesday, the trust said: “Due to network issues at UHNM, certain IT services and telephone lines within the trust are currently unavailable. This is having an impact on clinical services. All elective procedures and outpatient appointments for today have been cancelled.”

Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust, which is based in the same area, has also cancelled some outpatient appointments on Tuesday at Haywood Community Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent and the Leek Moorlands Hospital, which shared IT systems with acute trust. It was not immediately clear whether the partnership trust continued to be affected today.

A UHNM spokesman said on Wednesday morning there appeared to be an issue, as yet unknown, with the trust’s network provider and engineers were working as fast as possible to restore systems. There was no evidence the outage was caused by a cyber-attack, he said.

NHS organisations have intermittently seen IT system crashes, sometimes caused by malware or cyber attacks. Most famously, about 80 trusts were hit in May 2016 by the WannaCry ransomware, with a widespread and serious impact.

Update as of 5pm Wednesday: A UHNM spokeswoman said IT and telephone systems have now been restored and appointments would proceed as per normal on Thursday.