Nortel Networks, the Canadian telecoms equipment and networks specialist, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US to enable it to restructure.

Nortel provides network and telecoms services to a number of NHS trusts in the UK, including: Liverpool Women’s hospital; Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust; and IP telephony to NHS trusts in Worcester and central Middlesex.

The companys says it expects day-to-day operations to continue without interruption, and that it remains 100% focused on serving customers worldwide.

Under US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection law, a firm can keep trading while it aims to sort out its finances. Nortel employs about 30,000 people worldwide, including about 2,000 in the UK.

In a statement Nortel said that the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing was intended to help it "emerge from this process as a more focused, financially sound and competitive company".

"Nortel must be put on a sound financial footing once and for all," said Nortel president and CEO Mike Zafirovski. "These actions are imperative so that Nortel can build on its core strengths and become the highly focused and financially sound leader in the communications industry that its people, technology and customer relationships show it ought to be.”