Surgery and appointments have been postponed after “significant problems” blighted hospitals in Yorkshire.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said that it has been unable to report on patient test results and those with “urgent or emergency needs” have been prioritised. Blood tests at GP surgeries have also been affected.
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust also admitted that it had been hindered by IT issues, but as of yesterday had not needed to postpone appointments or surgery.
It is understood that delays in Leeds have affected people over the weekend and the trust is still working to restore the system.
One cancer patient whose appointments have been deferred, and who asked to remain anonymous, said she received no call in advance.
“It’s really quite amazing. To be honest, it’s horrendous. I just can’t understand why there’s no contingency plan. It’s causing massive disruption,” she said.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust runs Leeds General Infirmary, St James’s University Hospital, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds Children’s Hospital, Leeds Dental Institute, Seacroft Hospital and Wharfedale Hospital.
But a spokesman for the trust said that he could not give a number for how many people were affected.
Suzanne Hinchliffe, chief nurse and deputy chief executive at Leeds Teaching Hospitals said: “We have been experiencing some significant problems with our pathology IT system which means we are unable to report on patients’ test results.
“This is impacting on the timeliness of the service we provide to patients and we apologise for the inconvenience this is causing.
“We are still able to process tests, but because it is taking so much longer to report the results without the IT system, we are unable to deal with the normal volume of activity. Tests such as x-rays and scans are not affected by these IT issues.
“To ensure the safety of our patients, our doctors are reviewing and prioritising those with urgent or emergency needs. Unfortunately, this means we have been required to postpone some appointments and surgery.”
“Patients attending their GP for routine blood tests may also be affected and if this is the case, they will be contacted directly by their GP practice. Our teams are working closely with internal and external partners to restore the system as soon as possible.”
She added that affected patients will be contacted directly. Anyone with questions should contact their outpatient clinic, named clinician or GP.
A spokeswoman for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We can confirm that we have been affected by the problems with the Leeds pathology IT system and we are working closely with Leeds Teaching Hospitals regarding the solution.
“So far, we have not had to postpone any appointments or cancel any surgery for our patients.”
Pathology services include screening, diagnosis and prognosis for disease.