05/08/2021

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Patients facing significant delays at Letterkenny University Hospital

Impact of ransomware attack on the HSE IT systems continuing to affect the delivery of hospital services

Friends of Letterkenny Hospital have raised €6 million

Letterkenny University Hospital

Patients attending the Emergency Department, outpatient and other appointments at Letterkenny University Hospital are facing significant delays as the impact of the ransomware attack on the HSE IT systems continues to affect the delivery of hospital services.

Although progress has been made to get priority systems back up and running including radiology, diagnostic/laboratory and patient information systems, many of the supporting systems are still being worked on.

This means that there are many manual processes in place for example ordering X-rays and laboratory tests and also getting results back.

The hospital’s email system hasn’t been restored which makes communication between different areas of the hospital and outside the hospital more difficult and also much slower.

Seán Murphy, Hospital Manager said: “We want to advise patients that they 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.

“We know how important it is to resume clinics as quickly as possible even if all the systems are not back fully yet. 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.

“Our advice to patients is to come to appointments if called and we apologise in advance for any delays patients may face.

“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 ask patients to contact their GP or GP Out Of Hours Service in the first instance if their health problem is not urgent.

“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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