Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

NHS cyber attack: A&Es 'fully open' again

BLOOD tests will resume at hospitals across mid Essex following the NHS cyber attack last week.

The virus, which took control of users' files and demanded payment to allow access, forced many Britain hospitals to cancel treatments, appointments, and even compel emergency rooms to turn people away.

It said: 'There were no infected computers in North East GP practices and the priority through this global malware incident was to protect the NHS computer network, clinical systems and patient data - and this was done very successfully.

On Monday and Tuesday issues still remained and blood tests at the four hospitals are "unavailable until further notice".

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"Our staff and partners worked tirelessly around the clock to ensure there was as little interruption to patient care and experience as possible and this meant that wewere able to continue to offer our services to patients as near to normal as possiblethroughout".

"Our systems are now unaffected by the ransomware cyber attack but we remain vigilant", she highlighted. "Please see our guidance on emergency supply and our mythbuster on emergency supply which we hope supports you over this hard time".

"The message is very clear, not just for organisations like the NHS (National Health Service) but for private individuals, for businesses".

Scottish targets included 11 health boards, NHS National Services and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

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This left GP practices unable to access any patient data - prompting pleas for patients to attend surgery only if their need is urgent.

A spokesman said: "Our understanding is that if that had been acted on it would have prevented [the malware attack]".

While the NSA has not commented on either the WannaCrypt attack or Microsoft's response, Tom Bossert, President Trump's Homeland Security adviser, said at Monday's daily White House press briefing that the infection rate has been relatively low in the United States compared to other countries, and that no federal systems have been compromised.

The attack used ransomware and has affected many NHS organisations in England.

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In an interview with The Pharmaceutical Journal, Kerr said the call had confirmed that patient services were not affected by the attack but that a communications issue had been identified.

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