Hospital computer systems hit by virus18th November 2008
The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, The London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green and
St Bartholomew's (Barts) in the City have had their computer networks infected by a virus.
All three hospitals have had to turn off their IT systems for "at least 24 hours" in order to deal with the problem.
Computer specialists tried to fix the issue, but were unsuccessful in their attempts, despite working overnight. Engineers are currently attempting to resolve the problem.
A trust spokesman told e-Health Insider: "..... the IT department put in place procedures to tackle the outbreak, which they thought they had under control. But when staff logged on this morning, they found the virus was much more widespread than thought, so they then closed all but essential areas of the network and declared a major incident."
According to a spokesman for the London NHS Trust - which is made up of the three hospitals - "emergency procedures" are now being used.
Operating theatres and outpatient services were still being used, and appointments were running as usual.
A&E departments were still accepting patients who walked in during the day, but ambulances were sent to different hospitals because "slower manual systems" of processing patients were in effect at the hospitals.
The Trust's spokesman said: "We have maintained a safe environment for our patients throughout the incident."
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Title: Hospital computer systems hit by virus
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 9258
Date Added: 18th Nov 2008