Everything you need to know about the 'critical incident' at four Greater Manchester hospitals

The A major IT failure is causing severe delays and disruption for patients.

A major IT failure is causing severe delays and disruption for patients and for hospitals across Greater Manchester.

Oldham, Bury and Rochdale hospitals as well as North Manchester general have all been affected.

Here's everything you need to know:

  • Why has a ‘critical incident’ been declared?

An IT failure at the Royal Oldham Hospital, Fairfield in Bury, Rochdale Infirmary and North Manchester General Hospital means staff can't access some clinical information on their computer systems.

  • Are patient records safe?

The Northern Care Alliance Trust, which runs the affected hospitals, says this isn't a hacking, and it isn't a malware incident.

All patient records and personal data held by the NHS and Trust remains secure and unaffected.

  • I have an appointment, should I still go?

Patients who have a hospital appointment whether for planned surgery or as an outpatient should continue to attend unless they are contacted directly by the Trust and told otherwise.

  • When is the IT problem likely to be fixed?

The trust has apologised and it says IT staff are working 'around the clock' to try and fix this issue but they cannot say when it will all be resolved.

  • What should I do if I have a medical emergency?

Emergency Departments are particularly busy and those who feel they need to attend are likely to be waiting longer than normal if they have minor ailments.

The trust is asking the public to think carefully before attending.

  • What should I do if I'm not sure whether to attend A&E?

You can contact NHS 111 or seek advice from your local pharmacy or GP. For minor illnesses and ailments, you can check which service is right for you by calling NHS 111 or going online to the NHS 111 website.

Dr Chris Brookes, Deputy CEO and Chief Medical Officer for the Northern Care Alliance NHS Trust said: "In our urgent and emergency care settings, people are having to wait unfortunately longer than we would like.

"However, patient safety, our priority and of course all of the patients are treated in priority order. Those patients with the most serious illness or injury will of course still be treated in that timely way."