Devonitely not great: Torbay and South Devon NHS declares 'major IT incident'

Do not come to hospital unless it's critical, it tells patients on Facebook and Twitter

Updated Torbay & South Devon NHS has declared a state of emergency of the tech kind, warning that a “critical IT systems failure” has forced it to cancel all scheduled routine surgery and outpatients appointments.

The crash first happened yesterday, the Foundation Trust confirmed on social media, and its team of techies has been labouring through the night to fix the problem.

“The Trust’s IT teams have been working all night to try to resolve the issues, but with limited success so far. Systems affected across Torbay and South Devon include clinical systems, email and telephones,” a spokeswoman told us.

The technical screw-up has also affected Torbay Hospital and all of its community sites, which includes Newton Abbot Hospital, Totnes Hospital, Brigham Hospital and Dawlish Hospital as well as GPs' systems.

As a result of the “critical incident”, deputy chief exec and chief nurse Jane Viner said:

Torbay Hospital is extremely busy and we are operating at OPEL 4 - the highest level of escalation. We are cancelling all routine operations for today and ask people only to come to Torbay Hospital if it is critical that they do so.

We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption this situation will inevitably cause, and ask for people’s understanding while we do everything we can to urgently restore our IT resilience.

El Reg called the press team at the NHS Trust and were told they were still unable to discuss the nature of the fault. “We are still trying to get to the bottom of it,” a spokeswoman told us.

At the time of writing, progress seems to have been made, with a local GP tweeting that some practices were coming back online.

We will update the story as more emerges.

Updated on 24 September to add

A PR rep at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust sent us a statement, claiming IT systems were back up and running from early afternoon yesterday. We have asked for a post glitch technical report. ®

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