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Breakdown of X-ray system at Southend Hospital
A TECHNICAL glitch at Southend Hospital has left staff unable to view X-rays.
The system used to view X-rays broke down yesterday forcing the hospital to send a number of patients home.
Routine appointments were re-arranged for later in the week, but emergency patients were forced to endure long waits in A&E while access to a back-up X-ray system was provided.
One patient, who was due to have tests yesterday morning, was told after a long wait, that she would have to return on Thursday.
Her husband, who does not want to be named, said: “When we were sitting there waiting for her appointment we were told the system was down, but obviously we assumed they meant the computers or something.
“We were told beforehand to expect to wait for three hours because of all the different tests my wife would have to go through, but we ended up waiting three hours to be told to come back on Thursday. Luckily it is not a massive problem for us, but it is a real worry for people who need emergency X-rays or urgent brain scans. The hospital can do the tests, but not view them, so it is pointless. I just hope they get it up and running soon.”
Southend Hospital bosses were keen to stress they have a back up Xray reader for emergency situations such as this, and are working hard to get the permanent system up and running again as soon as possible.
Debbie Packwood, associate business director for diagnostics and therapeutic, said: “We have experienced a technical problem with our private archiving and communication system and are working closely with our supplier to resolve it as quickly as possible.
“We do have back-up systems which enable us to read all the different types of scan at various stations throughout the hospital, so the effect on patients is minimal.
“However, we would like to apologise to any patients who have been affected by this problem and assure them that we are doing all we can to restore the system swiftly.”