Appointments at Royal Preston Hospital will be delayed todayafter a technical glitch with the computer system led to appointments being cancelled yesterday.
Hospital chiefs say that the issue was fixed at around 11pm yesterday evening but that some outpatients can still expect delays today as they work to get back to normal.
A hospital spokesperson advised that patients should attend appointments as scheduled today but should be prepared for delays.The IT failure initially prompted fears the hospital was under a cyberattack.
But a spokesman for Lancashire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was quick to quash the rumour saying that this was not the case and the technical problems pose no risk to patient safety.
The spokesman confirmed that life-saving equipment in the hospital is not affected.
They said the problems mean that the network has lost the ability to link all its systems together.
In an official statement the Trust said: “This afternoon some of our IT systems have been affected by a technical component which has malfunctioned.
“We have put in place our tried and tested contingency plans to minimise disruption to ensure we can maintain services and continue to provide safe care and treatment for our patients.
“These plans are working well and there’s no risk to patient safety.
“We have postponed some outpatient clinics today and sincerely apologise to everyone whose appointment has been affected.
“We will be in touch to reschedule these appointments as soon as possible.
“A team of IT experts are currently working on the issue and we expect the system to be up and running within the next 24 hours.”
The network began to malfunction at 3.30pm this afternoon.
Bosses at the Trust said they had ‘no idea at this stage how many patient’s appointments have been cancelled’.
It is not the first time IT problems have caused the NHS to cancel appointments. Only last month, hospitals across Lincolnshire were forced to shut down major operations after a malware attack.
Hospitals in Scunthorpe and Grimsby found their IT networks had been infected at the end of October and the Lincolnshire and Goole Trust called a major emergency while the virus was dealt with.
And in September Leeds hospitals confirmed a crash in their pathology computer systems led to non-urgent appointments being postponed.
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