Appointments and surgery postponed after Leeds hospitals IT problems

Clarendon Wing at the LGI.  Picture Tony Johnson
Clarendon Wing at the LGI. Picture Tony Johnson
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“Significant problems” with Leeds Teaching Hospitals’ pathology IT system has meant that some surgery and appointments have been postponed.

The deputy chief executive of the NHS Trust Suzanne Hinchliffe said that it was unable to report on patient test results, but x-rays and scans are not affected.

The trust is still able to process tests, but it is taking much longer than usual.

Those with “urgent or emergency needs” are being prioritised.

Patients visiting their GP for blood tests may also be affected.

A spokesman for the trust said that he could not give an exact number of how many people are affected.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has also admitted that it has been hindered by IT issues, but so far has not had to postpone or cancel surgery or appointments

Suzanne Hinchliffe, chief nurse and deputy chief executive at Leeds Teaching Hospitals said: “We have been experiencing some significant problems with our pathology IT system which means we are unable to report on patients’ test results.

“This is impacting on the timeliness of the service we provide to patients and we apologise for the inconvenience this is causing.

“We are still able to process tests, but because it is taking so much longer to report the results without the IT system, we are unable to deal with the normal volume of activity.

“Tests such as x-rays and scans are not affected by these IT issues.

“To ensure the safety of our patients, our doctors are reviewing and prioritising those with urgent or emergency needs.

“Unfortunately, this means we have been required to postpone some appointments and surgery.”

She said that any patients affected will be contacted directly and the trust expected to be able to rearrange appointments as soon as the problem is resolved.

She added: “Patients attending their GP for routine blood tests may also be affected and if this is the case, they will be contacted directly by their GP practice.

“Our Teams are working closely with internal and external partners to restore the system as soon as possible.

“In the meantime, if patients have any questions they should contact their outpatient clinic, named clinician or GP who will be able to provide them with any advice”.

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust runs Leeds General Infirmary, St James’s University Hospital, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds Children’s Hospital, Leeds Dental Institute, Seacroft Hospital and Wharfedale Hospital.

A spokeswoman for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We can confirm that we have been affected by the problems with the Leeds pathology IT system and we are working closely with Leeds Teaching Hospitals regarding the solution.

“So far, we have not had to postpone any appointments or cancel any surgery for our patients.”