Blood tests to resume at NHS cyber attack hospitals from tomorrow

Joanna Estrada
May 22, 2017

Accident and emergency units in England were almost back to normal yesterday, the National Health Service (NHS) said, after the last restrictions put in place following the global cyber attack were lifted.

"We are still in a major incident, so we would like to remind patients to use our A&Es wisely and only attend in life threatening or emergency situations". Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has confirmed there has not been a second wave of cyber attacks on NHS trusts since the attacks on Friday.

In his first public comments since the attack on Friday, Mr Hunt told Sky News: "I have this morning been briefed by GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre, and according to our latest intelligence, we have not seen a second wave of attacks and the level of criminal activity is at the lower end of the range that we had anticipated, and so I think that is encouraging".

Riverbank IT Management managing director Malcolm Newdick said: "Last week's ransomware attack was the most unsafe malware attack we have seen".

NHS England said that, as of 3pm on Monday, two hospitals remained on divert following the attack, down from seven on Sunday.

NHS bosses are confident that south Essex experienced only minor issues, and that patient care was largely unaffected.

"While there is still some disruption in a small number of areas, most patients are being treated as normal", she added.

A spokesman for the Southend and Castle Point Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "NHS Southend CCG and NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG have been working together, along with partners across the local health system, to manage the risks to NHS systems caused by Friday's cyber-attack".

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it has not been affected by the attack but Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust communications manager Roy Probert said the trust is still remaining vigilant.

Mr Hunt has come under fire for failing to appear in public since the attack, which hit 47 trusts in England and 13 Scottish health boards.

"In particular, making sure that our data is properly backed up and making sure that we are using the software patches, the anti-virus patches that are sent out regularly by manufacturers".

Around a fifth of NHS trusts were hit in the attack, forcing them to postpone operations and procedures over the weekend.

NHS Digital said it had made health trusts aware last month of IT protection that could have prevented the damage.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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