Cy­ber-attack hit Macc Hospi­tal

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

MAC­CLES­FIELD Hospi­tal was hit by the cy­ber-attack which af­fected NHS com­puter sys­tems.

East Cheshire NHS Trust which runs Mac­cles­field Hospi­tal con­firmed that some of its IT sys­tems were dis­rupted by the cy­ber-attack which hit the NHS and other or­gan­i­sa­tions at the week­end.

It was among 47 NHS Trusts af­fected by the ‘ran­somware’ virus which ap­peared on as an er­ror mes­sage and blocked ac­cess to pa­tient records, de­mand­ing a ran­som to re­lease the files.

IT staff at Mac­cles­field Hospi­tal worked to re­solve the is­sue and bosses stated on Monday (May 15) that the in­fec­tion had been stopped.

They said that no surgery or ap­point­ments were can­celled, pa­tients were not di­rectly af­fected and no ran­soms were paid by the trust or its staff.

The state­ment said: “Like many other NHS or­gan­i­sa­tions, East Cheshire NHS Trust was af­fected by Fri­day’s cy­ber-attack.

“As soon as lo­cal is­sues were iden­ti­fied, IT sys­tems were shut down to pre­vent the virus spread­ing and busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity plans were en­acted to en­sure the trust con­tin­ued to pro­vide safe care.

“Pa­tients have not been di­rectly af­fected and the trust has not can­celled any elec­tive surgery or out­pa­tient ap­point­ments. Some sys­tems hold­ing pa­tient in­for­ma­tion were un­avail­able af­ter be­ing taken off­line as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure, how­ever ar­range­ments put in place as part of our busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity plans en­sured we have still been able to deliver safe and timely care to pa­tients.

“All pa­tients should at­tend ap­point­ments this week un­less ad­vised oth­er­wise.”

Read­ers on the Ex­press Face­book page re­ported some in­creased wait­ing times but praised hospi­tal staff for how they coped with the dis­rup­tion.

Stephanie Teague said: “I was there, the staff were bril­liant, not phased and just went back to ba­sics.”

Claire-Louise Daven­port said: “I was at the hospi­tal when it caused an is­sue, I can’t fault the staff at all.

“It was so dif­fi­cult for them to op­er­ate but they did fan­tas­ti­cally. Even with the ex­tra work­load of not hav­ing re­sults and things at their fin­ger­tips.”

The Ru­ral Ser­vices Net­work is­sued a state­ment ex­press­ing con­cern over the im­pact of cy­ber-at­tacks on doc­tors’ surg­eries in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

Ad­vice to pro­tect against the virus in­cludes in­stalling sys­tem and ap­pli­ca­tion up­dates and anti-virus soft­ware and cre­at­ing back­ups of im­por­tant files.

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