22 May 2022

Significant delays for patients at St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny

Patients attending the Emergency Department, outpatient and other appointments at St Luke’s General Hospital Carlow/Kilkenny are facing significant delays as the impact of the cyber-attack on the HSE IT systems continues to affect the delivery of hospital services.

Although progress has been made to get priority systems back up and running including radiology, diagnostic/laboratory and patient information systems, many of the supporting systems are still being worked on. This means that there are many manual processes in place for example ordering X-rays and laboratory tests and also getting results back. The hospital’s email system hasn’t been restored which makes communication between different areas of the hospital and outside the hospital more difficult and also much slower.

Mr. Frank O’Dwyer, Consultant in ED Medicine for St Luke’s General Hospital said, “We want to advise patients that they will face delays when they come to the hospital. We regret these delays and are working very hard within the hospital and with HSE IT Services nationally to restore the rest of the systems we need to function efficiently. There are around 80 different interconnected IT systems in use at the hospital making it a complex process to restore and the workarounds in place in the meantime are slowing us down.

“It is simply not an option to postpone appointments and wait until all the systems come back fully. Already we’ve had to cancel a high proportion of appointments since May 14 and it will take many weeks to catch up, particularly as services are running so slowly currently.

“Our advice to patients is to come to appointments if called and to be prepared to face delays," he added.

Meanwhile the latest Trolley Watch figures show that there are 24 people waiting for a bed at St Luke's Hospital today.

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