Latest update and Q&As on IT issues affecting our local hospitals - Oldham, Bury, Rochdale, and NMGH

20 June 2022

The IT issues affecting a number of clinical and non-clinical digital IT systems which have impacted on hospitals in Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and at North Manchester General Hospital have now been fully resolved.

Salford Royal has remained unaffected throughout.

Since Wednesday 18 May, the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust (NCA) has been experiencing some disruption and instability issues in some of its digital IT clinical systems.

The Trust’s Digital IT team and suppliers have worked tirelessly and have now completed the full restoration of all systems. All IT systems are now fully available and operating as usual.

All of the Trust’s Diagnostic, Pathology and Pharmacy services, and referral pathways from GPs and Primary Care have returned to ‘business as usual’ and have been operating as such since 6 June.

Following ongoing testing and monitoring, we are now in position to step down from a Business Continuity Incident to business as usual (BAU).

We are incredibly grateful to all colleagues and partners for the tremendous efforts, patience and collaboration that has enabled us to safely navigate this incident.

Why was a critical IT Incident declared?

The Trust, in agreement with NHS England, declared a critical incident because of an IT software issue that resulted in several of our critical clinical and digital systems becoming inaccessible for our staff across Oldham, Bury and Rochdale. North Manchester General Hospital, which is run by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), was also affected. The issues meant that staff were unable to access clinical information or diagnostic tests online.

What was the cause and will this happen again?

Our IT external supplier has confirmed that the software issues identified that affected these systems have not been transferred across to the digital infrastructure which means we are confident we have fully resolved the problems.

We are currently working with colleagues from NHS England/Digital in assessing a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) assessment report which has been provided by our suppliers and which outlines the cause of the IT incident. A full lessons learnt report will be presented and discussed at our NCA Board meeting in July.

Are my personal details and data secure? 

All patient records and personal data held by the NHS and the Trust remains secure and unaffected. The Trust is confident the IT failure was not related to any cyber-attack, malware or hacking incident.

Should I still attend my hospital appointment?

Patients who have a hospital appointment, whether for planned surgery or as an outpatient, should continue to attend unless they are contacted directly by the Trust and told otherwise.

If my planned surgery was cancelled during the incident, will I go to the bottom of the waiting list?

No. Where a patient has an appointment or surgery postponed, they will be rescheduled as a priority and kept informed of the earliest available appointment date. You will receive a new appointment by text, if we have your mobile details and follow up letter.

What will happen if my hospital outpatient appointment was cancelled?

Your appointment will be rescheduled and you will be notified.

Accessibility tools

Return to header