Internet restored to hospitals in Winchester and Andover after builders cut through network cables

The fibre and copper cables were accidentally damaged on a building site in Dummer, Hampshire. Credit: Openreach

Internet and phone services have been restored to hospitals in Winchester and Andover following an outage when builders accidentally cut through network cables.

Around 4,000 homes and businesses in the Basingstoke area were also affected.

The fibre and copper cables were damaged on a building site in Dummer on Wednesday evening, June 8.

The builders were working on improvements to the Brighton Hill roundabout.

The outage affected the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester and the Andover War Memorial Hospital.

Internet and phone services were affected at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital. Credit: PA

On Friday, a spokesperson for Openreach said: "A team of 20 specialist engineers worked through the night and have repaired the main NHS circuit.

"As a result the Royal Hampshire County Hospital and Andover War Memorial Hospital are now back online along with thousands of homes and businesses.

"Our specialist engineers will continue to work over the weekend and into next week to repair the damage caused earlier this week. 

"While repairs to our fibreoptic network are progressing well and many homes and businesses are now back online, it’s taking longer to fix our copper network. 

"For this reason, some customers may find that their broadband is back online more quickly than their land line. 

"We’d like to reassure everyone that we’re doing our best to get everyone reconnected as quickly as possible and thank everyone affected again for their patience."

  • Councillor Nick Adams-King, Hampshire County Council, Cabinet Member for Highways Operations, Con

A spokesperson for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: "Since Wednesday afternoon our teams have been working hard to respond to significant IT issues across our Andover War Memorial Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital sites, caused by offsite construction work damaging fibre optic cables.

"We’re pleased to share that we have been informed that these issues have now been resolved.

"As such, we now are working to restore our systems. Unfortunately, as a knock-on effect, our services remain under severe pressure across all our hospital sites and we’re asking the local community for help by thinking carefully about which NHS service may be best for them. 

Engineers have been working to reconnect homes and businesses. Credit: ITV News Meridian

"As alternatives, please remember that 111 and your GP are there to support. 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 booked appointments and other NHS services as normal unless you are informed directly.

"Further updates will be issued as more information becomes available."

  • Councillor Stephen Reid, Hampshire County Council, Basingstoke South West, Con

Hampshire County Council sincerely apologised for the outage.

In a statement, the local authority said that its contractors undertake checks to locate any underground cables before carrying out excavations.

The statement added that unfortunately records showed the cables were in a different position to where they were.