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Majority of trusts back online after cyberattack hit NHS


15 May 2017

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Forty of 47 trusts have regained access to their computer systems after a malware virus attacked trusts and GP practices across the country on Friday.

However, seven trusts are still unable to access their files and are receiving additional support from NHS Digital and NHS England, amid warnings from cyber security experts that fresh attacks could be on the way.

The seven trusts receiving extra help are:

Forty of 47 trusts have regained access to their computer systems after a malware virus attacked trusts and GP practices across the country on Friday.

However, seven trusts are still unable to access their files and are receiving additional support from NHS Digital and NHS England, amid warnings from cyber security experts that fresh attacks could be on the way.

The seven trusts receiving extra help are:

  • The Royal London (Barts Health Trust)
  • Colchester General Hospital (Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust)
  • Lister Hospital (East and North Herts Trust)
  • James Paget University Hospital (James Paget University Hospitals FT)
  • Broomfield Hospital (Mid Essex Trust)
  • West Cumberland Hospital (North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust)
  • Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital (Hampshire Hospitals FT)

NHS Digital issued guidance over the weekend advising trusts and practices ‘to remove infected machines from the network’ before installing a ‘patch’ on to computers to fix the virus.

In a statement, Dr Anne Rainsberry, NHS Incident Director at NHS England,reassured patients that if they are having a medical emergency ‘they should visit A&E or access emergency services in the same way as they normally would’.

She added that the NHS has ‘tried and tested contingency plans’ to keep the NHS running.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said the attack required ‘proper perspective’ as only 20% of trusts were initially affected and ‘the quick rush by some to lay the blame on “incompetent NHS managers” is disappointing’.

He said: ‘It feels like the usual NHS bashing and is unsupported by evidence. This unfortunate blame game may in part be down to the fact that we are in the middle of a general election campaign.'

Speaking to the BBC on Saturday, the home secretary Amber Rudd said the NHS ‘must learn’ from the attack after trusts were told to upgrade their computer systems, but didn’t do so.

Update 17:00 15/05/17: An NHS England statement has said that the number of hospitals still diverting patients has been reduced to two – The Lister Hospital and Broomfield Hospital.

In the new statement, Dr Rainsberry said it was 'encouraging' to see the situation improve.

She said: 'The message to patients is clear: the NHS is open for business. Staff are working hard to ensure that the small number of organisations still affected return to normal shortly.'

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