IT failure causes Manchester hospitals to cancel 600 appointments

An IT failure caused problems at four hospitals in Manchester yesterday (13 September), with some operations and appointments being cancelled.

The Royal Oldham Hospital, Fairfield General Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary and North Manchester General Hospital experienced an IT failure which affected medical records and non-urgent operations.

In total the IT fault affected 20 non-urgent operations and 600 non-urgent follow-up outpatient appointments. The Trust stated that it contacted the patients directly and will rearrange the appointments as a priority.

Speaking about the IT failure, a spokesperson for the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Patient safety is our main priority and we have tried and tested contingency plans in place at our hospitals and community services to ensure services remain safe and patients are not unduly affected. Due to our service continuity plans, our medical and nursing staff have been able to ensure that our services remain safe and that all essential services including our A&E, Maternity, urgent surgery and cancer services have been unaffected.  Our staff have been able to use paper based systems and contingency plans to continue to treat the majority of patients on our wards and in our departments.”

The Trust stressed that the IT failure was in no way related to a cyber-attack but that when it first happened, “the root cause of the problem” was not understood.

The Trusts, which sees around 4,000 patients every day in its outpatient clinics, anticipated that the IT failure would be fixed last night.

In a statement, the Trust said: “The source of failure for the IT systems has now been identified and work is ongoing to fix the problem with IT engineers on site.  All IT systems and email is due to be back online this evening. Business continuity plans will remain in place overnight until tomorrow (14 Septmeber) morning.”


Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via:

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