An apology from the Chief Executive for the IT failure at Guy's and St Thomas'

Posted on Friday 29th July 2022

Guy’s and St Thomas’ has experienced significant problems with its IT systems following the extreme temperatures last week. The Trust’s Chief Executive, Professor Ian Abbs, has made a heartfelt apology to our patients, their families and our staff.

He said: “My executive colleagues and I want to extend a heartfelt apology to all those who have been affected by the extremely serious IT problems that we have been experiencing. That apology is to our patients, their families and our local communities for the impact this incident may have had on their care; and also to our colleagues, for the significant impact that this has had on their ability to deliver the high quality care to which we always aspire.

“On Tuesday 19 July, as a result of extreme heat, the two data centres on our Guy's and St Thomas' sites failed – this is unprecedented and happened very quickly.

“While our immediate priority is to get our IT systems back up and running as safely and quickly as possible, we will be commissioning an external, independent review to look in detail at what happened and to ensure we identify and learn all the lessons.

“Our IT teams have been working incredibly hard with operational and clinical colleagues, to get systems back up and running and then fully tested before we release them back to the organisation.

“Thanks to the phenomenal work of our clinical teams we have continued to safely care for as many patients as possible, including those attending our emergency department, which has required an incredible and sustained team effort.

“Regrettably we have had to postpone a number of procedures and appointments, something we never want to do. As our management systems return we will be in a position to assess the full impact of the situation, and contact patients and begin to rearrange their care as quickly as possible. We know this will be a complex task and will take both time and dedication. 

“We remain grateful to partner hospitals across south east London and beyond for their continued support, and we will work with them going forward to ensure patients are prioritised by clinical need.

“I am very sorry for the impact this has had on our patients and their safety is at all times our number one priority.”