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GP practices 'closed down' by NHS computer system hack attack

GP practices across England have been affected by what appears to be a major cyber attack on the NHS computer system.

Pulse understands that some GP practices have had to shut down, while hospital staff found themselves unable to work.

Dr George Farrelly, a GP in East London, said his practice did not have access to patient records and could not prescribe medicines.

Dr Farrelly, who works at the Tredegar practice in Tower Hamlets, said his practice had ‘heard something might happen’ earlier in the day so had printed the appointment list.

He said: ‘I am going to see my patients but of course we cannot access any records and can’t prescribe.’

Meanwhile Dr Neil Paul, a GP in Cheshire, sent Pulse a computer screenshot of the error message caused by the attack, which is requesting $300 worth of Bitcoin, the online currency.

He told Pulse that in his area around 'half' of practices were affected by the attack, including some cases of 'whole practices' being forced to shut down.

nhshackattack

nhshackattack

The Wingate Medical Centre in Liverpool also tweeted that it was unable to work.

And NHS Liverpool CCG warned patients to only contact their GP practice in an emergency.

NHS Digital said that 'a number of NHS organisations have reported... that they have been affected by a ransomware attack'.

A spokesperson said: 'The investigation is at an early stage but we believe the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor.

'At this stage we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed. We will continue to work with affected organisations to confirm this.

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

According to NHS Digital, the attack was 'not specifically targeted at the NHS and is affecting organisations from across a range of sectors'.

The spokesperson added: '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.'

Readers' comments (30)

  • ?clever plan by the RCGP to show the worth of GPs? Take GPs out of the system for a week???

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  • Ransomware. Is this an NHS net issue or locally installed ?

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  • My computer id's it as Artemis!7BF2B57F2A20!

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  • Disappointingly my computer still working

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  • Dr David Barrett

    It's across 16 hospital trusts as well.

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  • Working in a very busy inner-city practice, with Out-of-hours centre adjacent in the Darzi-style Health Centre. waiting areas full of upset and distressed patients, some in pain or very unwell, many coming in for repeat prescriptions begore they run out at the weekend, admin staff struggling to deal with situation.
    Cyber-Ransomeware (labelling itself Wana Decrypt0r v2.0) demanding £300 in Bitcoin within 3 days, or it doubles, then all data deletes irreversibly in 7 days.
    Patients angry and shouting.
    This is very clever
    Terrible time, end of weekon Friday evening, IT staff going homes and away for weekend, deadline on Monday, so good chance we will have to pay.

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  • Isn't an attack on criterial infrastructure, like government or defence or medical paramount to an Act of War?
    This is really very dangerous , it shouldn't be possible for people to just do this to the NHS.
    Maybe the Goverment will finally get serious about all these dangerous hackers, now they are putting innocent people'lifes at risk.
    And we didn't even vote for Trump!

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  • Gp surgeries Lincolnshire "shut". All advised to disconnect from n3 network

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  • What level of lowlife would do this?

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  • Vinci Ho

    All down
    Can't even order bloods on written forms as that requires NHS numbers
    The other way of thinking , the public knows certainly how 'vulnerable' NHS is and 'somebody' wants to destroy it!

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