Apol­ogy af­ter NHS cy­ber at­tack Ap­point­ments can­celled, and staff work round the clock to try to fix IT dis­rup­tion

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Ross Thom­son

NHS La­nark­shire’s chief ex­ec­u­tive has apol­o­gised af­ter a cy­ber at­tack led to pro­ce­dures and ap­point­ments be­ing can­celled.

The health board’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Calum Camp­bell spoke out fol­low­ing a fran­tic week­end in which staff worked around the clock to try and fix the prob­lem.

The source of the at­tack against IT sys­tems has been iden­ti­fied but pa­tients at­tend­ing hos­pi­tal or out- of- hours ser­vices over the week­end were warned that wait­ing times may be longer than nor­mal.

The at­tack be­gan on Fri­day night and health board said it “took im­me­di­ate ac­tion” to pre­vent the spread of the ma­li­cious soft­ware, which can be trig­gered by any­one click­ing on a in­fected web link.

Mr Camp­bell said: “We have iden­ti­fied the source of the mal­ware and in­ves­ti­ga­tions are on­go­ing as to how this was able to in­fil­trate our net­work.

“Our staff have worked hard to min­imise the im­pact on pa­tients and our con­tin­gency plans have en­sured we have been able to con­tinue to de­liver ser­vices while the IT is­sues were re­solved.

“A small num­ber of sys­tems have been af­fected and these are in the process of be­ing fixed.

“Un­for­tu­nately a small num­ber of pro­ce­dures and ap­point­ments have been can­celled as a re­sult of the in­ci­dent.

“I would like to apol­o­gise to any­one who has been af­fected by this dis­rup­tion, how­ever I can as­sure you that work is al­ready un­der­way to reap­point pa­tients.

“The ma­jor­ity of ser­vices have been re­stored but it may take some time to get ser­vices run­ning as nor­mal.

“We would ask pa­tients who are at­tend­ing hos­pi­tal or out-of-hours ser­vices over the week­end to bear with us as they may ex­pe­ri­ence longer than waits than usual.”

In May, NHS La­nark­shire was one of 13 health boards across Scot­land to be af­fected with IT staff work­ing dozens of ex­tra hours to try and solve the cri­sis.

The com­puter virus was known as Wanna De­cryp­tor or Wan­naCry and locked users’ files and de­mands a $300 (£230) pay­ment to al­low ac­cess.

The virus meant doc­tors at hos­pi­tals, in­clud­ing at Wishaw Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, had to rely on pen and paper to process some pa­tients.

Apol­ogy given NHS La­nark­shire chief ex­ec­u­tive Calum Camp­bell

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