Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust has today been managing the impact of a critical IT systems failure. Well-rehearsed contingency plans swung into place across the NHS and the majority of systems were restored from midday on 23 September after IT teams worked through the night to resolve the issue. The Trust is now entering a period of recovery, for at least the next 24 hours, as staff focus on returning services to ‘business as usual’.
The Trust anticipates most of its hospital and community services will be running as normal tomorrow. For anyone with an appointment or procedure scheduled tomorrow, the message is to please come in as usual – if your appointment needs to be rescheduled, you will be contacted directly.
GP practices and Minor Injury Units (MIU) are also operating as usual. MIUs are run by a team of highly qualified nurse practitioners who have experience and expertise in treating minor injuries. They provide treatment for less serious injuries, such as broken bones and sprains, cuts, grazes, burns and scalds. You do not need an appointment to get seen and often have much shorter waiting times than Accident and Emergency departments.
Chief operating Officer, John Harrison, commented: “We expect our ED department to remain very busy, and are deploying extra clinical staff to ensure the service remains safe.
“We offer our sincere apologies to anyone who has had their appointment postponed today or tomorrow – we realise how distressing and inconvenient this can be. We are doing our utmost to reschedule your appointment and will be in touch by phone over the next few days to offer you a new date.
“We would also like to express our thanks to all our staff for working so hard during very challenging circumstances to keep essential services running.
“We are very grateful to local GPs, and to our partners at Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, who have supported us while our IT systems were down, in spite of already being very busy themselves.”
As well as focussing on getting all services back to normal, the Trust is launching an investigation into how the incident happened, and will take forward any learning.