WINCHESTER hospital has been hit by severe IT problems which are impacting on its services, including patient care.

The issue has also affected Andover War Memorial Hospital after a workman damaged a fibre optic cable at a building site in the Dummer area near Brighton Hill, Basingstoke. Openreach say their engineers will be working through the night to repair the damage which has affected 4,000 homes in the area and some circuits serving the NHS.

 In a tweet this afternoon, hospital managers said the Royal Hampshire County Hospital was now experiencing "unprecedented levels of demand due to technical issues".

The husband of one patient at the RHCH, who asked not to be named, said today: "My worry is patients at moment cannot receive adequate care because of IT systems going down and we are not being communicated a plan of when proper care may be resumed."

Members of staff have told the Chronicle that there has been serious issues with IT with staff reporting no access to networks.

The outpatients department is said to be closed although that has not been confirmed.

A spokesperson for the Hampshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust today said the issue began late yesterday afternoon due to construction work in Basingstoke impacting fibre optic cables.

Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in a statement, said: “Since late yesterday afternoon we have been experiencing significant IT issues in our Andover War Memorial Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital sites, arising from offsite construction work impacting fibre optic cables.

“Our contingency plans have been activated and we continue to operate safely but all our services are under severe pressure across all our hospital sites.

“We are asking you only to attend our emergency departments if the care you need is urgent. If you attend one of our emergency departments for non-life threatening conditions, you will experience a long wait to be seen.

“Please continue to attend appointments and all other NHS services as normal unless you are contacted directly. Further updates will be issued as more information becomes available.”

The RHCH tweeted yesterday evening: "Our Emergency Department at Royal Hampshire County Hospital is currently very busy due to technical issues, which we are working on. Please remember to use the right service and contact NHS 111 online or by phone for help. As ever, please call 999 in a serious medical emergency."

It again tweeted this morning: "Our Emergency Departments continue to be very busy due to ongoing technical issues."


In a Facebook past last night, since deleted, the trust said: "We are currently experiencing high levels of demand at the RHCH A&E department in Winchester due to technical issues.

"We are working hard to resolve the issues as soon as possible and would like to remind patients to use alternative ways to access medical care unless it is a life-threatening situation."

Hampshire Chronicle: Facebook message from the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester

An Openreach spokesperson said this evening: “Our engineers will be working through the night to make the extensive repairs needed following yesterday’s incident.  We can now safely access our network and a large team of specialist engineers is working on the process of cabling and jointing the huge number of copper and fibreoptic cables.  We’ll update tomorrow with our progress, and would like to thank everyone for their patience while we work on this complex task.”

Earlier Openreach said: “Our network in the Dummer area was accidentally damaged by a third party working on a building site on Wednesday evening, affecting phone and broadband services for around 4,000 homes, businesses and other organisations.  Engineers are on site working hard to resolve the situation, but it is a complex fix and may some time to completely recover.

“We know how frustrating this must be for those affected and we’ll be doing what we can to prioritise fixes for vulnerable customers and key local services. We'll also do our best to provide temporary connections wherever possible while this challenging repair work is completed. We’d ask that anyone experiencing any disruption to report it to their service provider who will then inform us.”

She confirmed that "some of the ethernet circuits affected serve the NHS Hampshire sites."

Hampshire Chronicle:



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