LONG delays are expected for patients attending services across UL Hospitals’ Group this Friday as a result of a serious ransomware attack on HSE information technology systems.
Emergency services across hospitals in the region continue to operate today. Patients with an outpatient appointment or a scheduled procedure across the group’s six hospitals are advised to attend for their appointments/procedures unless they are directly contacted by the hospital and advised otherwise.
The HSE nationally has taken the precaution of shutting down all information technology systems in order to protect them from this attack and to allow the authority fully assess the situation with their own security partners.
The HSE apologise for any inconvenience caused to patients and to the public and will give further information as it becomes available. It is appealing to members of the public to be patient as they switch to manual back-up systems.
Emergency services and unscheduled care continue to operate across all sites. This includes the Emergency Department at UHL, Injury Units and Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s hospitals and the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit/Maternity Emergency Unit at University Maternity Hospital Limerick.
However, the group are appealing to members of the public to attend the ED only in the case of an emergency.
In implementing its contingency plans, the group are largely operating manual back-up systems. Patients attending services on Friday can expect delays until such time as patient information, diagnostic reporting and other affected information technology systems are secure and operational.
Patients attending for scheduled care such as outpatient clinics and elective surgery are advised to attend as scheduled unless contacted directly by the group and advised otherwise but can also to expect delays.
There is a range of alternatives to the Emergency Department available in the Mid-West that are appropriate for less serious illnesses, including family doctors, out-of-hours GP services, and local pharmacies.
The Injury Units at Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals, which operate from 8am to 8pm daily, and St John’s Hospital, which runs from 8am to 7pm, daily are an excellent option for treatment of broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns. Patients attending Injury Units may also experience delays today.
If any patient that is seriously injured or ill or are worried their life is at risk, the ED will assess and treat you as a priority.
The operation of the three vaccination centres at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Limerick; West County Hotel, Ennis and Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh, are unaffected by this ransomware attack. People with a vaccination appointment are asked to attend as scheduled.
The group apologises to patients for delays or disruption in service while they work with their colleagues nationally to maintain essential services and protect patient information.