Barts Health Trust launches cyber attack probe.
England’s largest NHS Trust has been hit by a
cyber attack, it has emerged.
Barts Health Trust, which runs The Royal London, St Bartholomew’s, Whipps Cross, Mile End and Newham
hospitals is investigating the breach.
The trust said it could now rule out ransomware, in which email recipients are tricked into opening attachments which contain viruses, as the cause.
which email recipients are tricked into opening attachments which contain viruses, as the cause. attachments which contain viruses, as the cause.
It has not confirmed how much of its system was affected but said there was no sign that patient data was accessed.
In a statement said: “We are urgently investigating this matter and have taken a number of drives offline as a precautionary measure.
“We have tried and tested contingency plans in place and are making every effort to ensure that patient care will not be affected.”
The incident follows a similar attack on the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Foundation Trust in October, when malware was used to encrypt files on the trust’s system and demand a ransom in order to access them again.
The trust did not pay out, but was forced to cancel patient appointments while its systems were shut down to remove the virus.
Lincolnshire operations cancelled after network attack
Hundreds of planned operations and outpatient appointments have been cancelled across Lincolnshire after an NHS computer network was attacked.
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLAG) said systems were infected with a virus on Sunday, with it treated as a “major incident”.
The trust, which runs hospitals in Goole, Grimsby and Scunthorpe, said the measures would remain into Tuesday.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) also had to cancel operations.
Dr Karen Dunderdale, NLAG deputy chief executive, said: “A virus infected our electronic systems yesterday, and we have taken the decision, following expert advice, to shut down the majority of our systems so we can isolate and destroy it.
“Our main priority is patient safety. All adult patients should presume their appointment/procedure has been cancelled unless they are contacted. Those who turn up will be turned away.”
The trust added that inpatients would be cared for and discharged as soon as they were medically fit, with major trauma cases and high risk women in labour being diverted to neighbouring hospitals.
It said: “We are reviewing the situation on an hourly basis. Our clinicians will continue to see, treat and operate on those patients who would be at significant clinical risk should their treatment be delayed.”
Further updates will be posted on the trust website.
ULHT shares four of its clinical IT systems and said it had to cancel operations “unless there is a clinical reason not to”.
Mark Brassington, chief operating officer at ULHT, said: “We have a plan in place to minimise risks to patients which includes reverting to manual systems.
“The biggest impact on the trust is in processing of blood tests, access to historical test results and availability of blood for blood transfusions.
“Our number one priority is keeping patients safe so we are cancelling all planned operations tomorrow unless there is a clinical reason not to.”
(bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england. 14 January 201731, October 2016 )