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NHS cyber attack sees all weekend operations cancelled at Royal Preston Hospital

Posted on - 12th May, 2017 - 7:43pm | Author - | Posted in - College, Fulwood, News, Politics, Sharoe Green
Royal Preston Hospital
Royal Preston Hospital has moved to cancel all weekend procedures Pic: Paul Melling

All planned operations at Royal Preston Hospital have been cancelled due to the cyber attack affecting the NHS.

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Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust confirmed in a statement the IT issue – which sees a ransomware message pop up on the screen of NHS staff when they use computers – was causing the cancellations.

Update: Cancellations are continuing into Monday

A spokeswoman for the Trust, which operates Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley Hospital, said: “Due to the nationwide IT issues affecting the NHS, outpatients and all planned procedures over the weekend are cancelled unless we contact you to tell you otherwise; we’ll be in touch to rearrange any cancelled appointments.

“Please only go to the Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centres at Chorley and Preston if absolutely necessary.

“Check our website and social media channels over the weekend for any updates.”

A Preston GP has spoken out about the cyber attack, sharing a picture of her computer screen shortly before 1pm on Friday (12 May).

The screen which greeted staff at the doctor's surgery
The screen which greeted staff at the doctor’s surgery

Blog Preston has also been contacted by a radiographer at Royal Preston who described trying to use the system as a ‘bloody nightmare’ during Friday afternoon.

Read more: Inspector finds significant concerns where Royal Preston Hospital must improve

NHS Digital said 40 NHS organisations had reported being affected by the issue – although unconfirmed reports had this listed as more.

A statement from the provider of IT systems said: “A number of NHS organisations have reported to NHS Digital that they have been affected by a ransomware attack.

“The investigation is at an early stage but we believe the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor. This attack was not specifically targeted at the NHS and is affecting organisations from across a range of sectors.

“At this stage we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed.

“NHS Digital is working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Department of Health and NHS England to support affected organisations and ensure patient safety is protected.

“Our focus is on supporting organisations to manage the incident swiftly and decisively, but we will continue to communicate with NHS colleagues and will share more information as it becomes available.”

Are you affected by this? Do you work in the NHS? Let us know in the comments below

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