Ready for cyber hit
Health board prepared
NHS Lanarkshire’s chief executive believes the health board is in better shape to respond to any future cyber attacks.
Almost 500 patient appointments and procedures were cancelled when computers were infected by the ‘WannaCry’ ransomware in May.
The health board was also hit by a further cyber-attack in August – which led to 184 cancelled appointments.
Chief executive Calum Campbell was speaking following an NHS report into the incidents which revealed the scale of the attacks.
Mr Campbell said: “Following the cyber attack in May we took prompt and robust action to improve the security of our IT systems, which helped limit the impact of the malware incident in August.
“We apologise to any patients affected by the May and August incidents.
“Our staff went above and beyond during these incidents to successfully minimise the inconvenience to patients and quickly restore our IT systems.
“The integrity of our patient data was maintained in both cases. Every organisation throughout the world needs to recognise and prepare for future cyber threats of this kind.
“Our experience, detailed analysis and learning from both incidents along with robust actions to enhance our cyber security mean that NHS Lanarkshire is much better placed to meet and respond to these challenges.”
The WannaCry ransomware, which affected about 150 countries in May, takes over users’ files, demanding $300 (£230) to restore them. Microsoft released a security patch in March 2017 that blocked it.
Meanwhile, nominations are being sought for NHS Lanarkshire’s annual staff awards.
Patients, visitors and staff have the opportunity to nominate staff and volunteers for the care that they provide.
Mr Campbell added: “We have a lot of hard-working and dedicated staff throughout Lanarkshire, who provide an exceptional standard of care and service on a daily basis. The awards let us all say thank you for the exceptional work that they do.”
Visit www.nhslanarkshire.org.uk to nominate someone.
Nominations can also be made by calling (01698) 377790 and forms are available at NHS Lanarkshire sites. Closing date for nominations is December 31.
We took prompt and robust action...