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GPs ask patients to delay contact while cyber-attack backlog clears

GP practices in the North East of England, which were impacted by Friday’s cyber-attack on the NHS, are now able to use their IT systems again.

An NHS update for the North East and North Cumbria said its primary care computer network was switched back on yesterday afternoon, with practices back up and running this morning.

But it added that GP practices across the region are ‘still asking patients to consider delaying contacting their practice unless they really need to for the next few days to allow time to clear backlogs caused by the cyber-attack’.

The update urged the ublic to ‘please think carefully if you feel you need to book a GP appointment and consider if it can be delayed to later in the week’.

It also asked patients with pre-booked GP appointments to ‘please bring with you any medications, letters or paperwork you already have’.

However, the note said that no GP practice computers had actually been infected by the malware.

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

‘While all GP practices will have access to their clinical systems, not all computers in each practice may yet be back in full operation, however it is anticipated they will by the end of Tuesday.’

A spokesperson told Pulse: ‘Those NHS organisations in the region who were not directly affected by the virus also closed their external servers as a precautionary step to ensure the virus could not spread.’