HSE still facing IT system difficulties 20 days after cyberattack

Public urged to await confirmation before attending children’s hospital appointments

Nurses on duty at Temple Street hospital in Dublin. File Photograph: Eric Luke

Nurses on duty at Temple Street hospital in Dublin. File Photograph: Eric Luke

 

People have been urged not to attend scheduled outpatient appointments at children’s hospitals unless they have been contacted to confirm.

“The hospital will contact you, if it is deemed that you should attend,” the chief executive of Children’s Health Ireland, Eilish Hardiman, told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

Ms Hardiman outlined the difficulties the country’s children’s hospitals continue to face 20 days after the cyberattack on the HSE’s IT system. There were 250 IT systems involved, at least 80 per cent were infected.

There are old IT systems in some of the hospitals, such as Crumlin and Temple Street, which is making the assessment process slow and laborious, she said.

The IT teams are small and had been working “non stop” for the past 20 days with assistance from HSE tech staff and members of the Defence Forces.

Emergency departments remained open for emergencies, Ms Hardiman said, but if possible people should use their GP or pharmacy or health centre, she added.

The hospitals all remained very busy, Ms Hardiman said. For the past 20 days they had been keeping patient records on paper, and all that data now had to be inputted – which was going to take a few weeks.

In the meantime, she encouraged the public to look up the Children’s Health Ireland website and to follow the social media accounts for updates.