Cyber attack Key messages
- A number of NHS organisations, including hospitals and GP practices, have been affected by a ransomware attack.
- This has impacted organisations in different ways. In some cases computers have been infected with the ransomware virus; in other cases, computers/servers/internet connections have been shut down as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the virus.
- This attack was not specifically targeted at the NHS and is affecting organisations from across a range of sectors.
- NHS IT staff are being supported by cyber security experts as they work around the clock to fix the problem and bring impacted systems back online.
- There is no evidence that patient data has been accessed or that patient records have been affected.
- Clinical systems are unaffected and GPs can continue to access information, including electronic patient records as normal. Connections between different NHS organisations may have been affected and this means it may not be possible for information to be shared electronically between the practice and other organisations. However, there are no specific reports of problems in this area, with for example electronic prescriptions and test results. IT are working to resolve any issues that do occur as quickly as possible.
Frequently asked questions
How has my practice been affected?
The practice remains open and is working effectively to well-tested business continuity plans. Clinical computer systems have not been affected.
I already have a GP appointment booked. Will this still go ahead?
Yes, the practice is open and you can attend your appointment as normal.
Can I book an urgent or routine GP appointment?
Yes, the practice is open and continuing to take bookings as normal.
How have the phone systems been affected?
All phone lines for GP practices are working normally. Our normal phone lines still work and you can call us on the usual number.
Has my patient information been affected?
There is no evidence that patient data has been accessed or compromised.
How does this affect prescriptions and repeat prescriptions?
Electronic prescriptions are not affected.
Have any patient records been lost?
There have been no reports of any patient records being affected.
What will happen to my patient records if I received hospital treatment over the weekend?
The transfer of records has not been affected. Records will be transferred to your electronic patient records held by your GP as quickly as possible.
What will happen to my test results?
The transfer of test results has not been affected and will be transferred from the hospital to the GP practice as normal.
When will everything be back up and running normally?
Many NHS services have already returned to normal and NHS IT experts are continuing to work round the clock to bring impacted systems back online as quickly as possible.