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GPs asked not to request pathology testing following NHS hack

GPs in East London have been told not to send any routine samples through to pathology at Barts Health NHS Trust, after it was badly affected by Friday’s NHS cyber attack.

Information shared with GP practices said trust staff were ‘working hard to minimise the impact of the cyber attack’ but that ‘unfortunately our pathology labs are unable to process the usual volume of tests’.

The note said: ‘We can only process urgent samples and scans for critically unwell patients, and cannot process routine samples.’

It added: ’Please do not send any samples to pathology. If the clinical situation demands urgent results, then the patient should be referred to an urgent care centre.’

It also said it was ’unable to provide results by phone’, except where the pathology department itself judged the result to be critical.

The note to GPs said: ‘If a patient is unwell enough to need an urgent blood test, then they should be referred through urgent care pathways.

‘All results that are judged to be critical (i.e have very high or low results needing urgent clinical attention) will be phoned through to requesters as usual.

‘All other results will be entered into the IT system when it is up and running; please do not phone the lab for results during this time.’

The trust also said it was ‘reducing the volume of planned services on Tuesday 16 May to ensure we can continue to run services safely’, and would contact patients directly in cases where their outpatient appointment was cancelled.

It comes as GP leaders warned GP practices affected by the hack attack – which could be close to 1,000 according to the GPC’s IT lead – could need days to get back on top of their workload.


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