Patients attending Sligo University Hospital facing 'significant delays'

The ongoing impact of last month’s cyber attack on the HSE is still disrupting services

Good news for south Donegal patients as HIQA praises Sligo University Hospital

Sligo University Hospital: Patients attending the emergency department, outpatient and other appointments are facing delays

Patients attending Sligo University Hospital have been warned that they face “significant delays” due to the ongoing impact of last month’s cyber attack on the HSE.

The HSE issued the warning on Thursday saying patients attending the emergency department, outpatient and other appointments at the hospital are facing delays as the ransomware attack continues to affect the delivery of hospital services.

The hospital's email system has not been restored and manual processes are still in place for many services.

Patients are being asked to contact their GP or GP out of hours service if their health problem is not urgent.

The hospital is attended by patients from some areas of south Donegal.

Consultant in emergency medicine Dr Karen Harris said patients will face delays when they come to the hospital. 

“We regret these delays and are working very hard within the hospital and with HSE IT Services nationally to restore the rest of the systems we need to function efficiently. There are around 80 different interconnected IT systems in use at the hospital making it a complex process to restore and the workarounds in place in the meantime are slowing us down,” she said.

“It is simply not an option to postpone appointments and wait until all the systems come back fully. Already we’ve had to cancel a high proportion of appointments since 14 May and it will take many weeks to catch up, particularly as services are running so slowly currently.

Patients attending appointments must be prepared to face delays, she said.

“Patients attending the emergency department are facing extremely long delays because essential services like blood tests and diagnostic services are taking much longer than usual and this is significantly increasing turnaround times for our patients. Patients needing urgent care will be prioritised.

 “We would like to thank all our patients and their families for their support at this difficult time and apologise for the current disruptions and delays.”

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