LONDON — NHS hospitals across England are experiencing “major” technical issues, apparently as a result of a cyber attack.
At least one NHS trust is telling people not to come to A&E, and that it is “postponing all non-urgent activity.” There are also reports on Twitter of operations being cancelled due to the attack.
The Guardian reports that the East and North Hertfordshire NHS trust said in a statement: “Today (Friday, 12 May 2017), the trust has experienced a major IT problem, believed to be caused by a cyber attack.
“Immediately on discovery of the problem, the trust acted to protect its IT systems by shutting them down; it also meant that the trust’s telephone system is not able to accept incoming calls.
“The trust is postponing all non-urgent activity for today and is asking people not to come to A&E – please ring NHS111 for urgent medical advice or 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.
“To ensure that all back-up processes and procedures were put in place quickly, the trust declared a major internal incident to make sure that patients already in the trust’s hospitals continued to receive the care they need.”
The Blackpool Gazette is reporting that a “virus” has spread throughout the network after starting in Lancashire. It has shared an image of what appears to be ransomware — a type of malware that encrypts a computer’s files then demands a ransom to unlock them.
NHS England did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
This story is developing…
Unbelievable – friend’s (v important) operation due today just cancelled due to NHS cyber attack. Was literally about to go to theatre.
— Amy Grimshaw (@AmyGrimmers) May 12, 2017