Ministers coordinate response after cyber attack hits NHS 111 | NHS

Written by Javed Iqbal

Ministers are working to coordinate a “resilience response” after a cyber attack caused significant disruption across NHS computer system.

The outage affected services across the system, such as patient referrals, ambulance dispatches, out-of-hours appointments and emergency prescriptions.

“I am regularly briefed on the incident affecting NHS 111 services across the UK,” the health secretary, Steve Barclay, said on Saturday. “NHS England has emergency plans in place in affected areas and disruption to service is minimal.”

The attack was first discovered at 07:00 on Thursday by Advanced, a company that provides digital services to NHS 111. The company’s chief operating officer told the BBC that the loss of service was related to a cyber attack and had been confined to “a small number of servers”.

The firm indicated that the issue may not be fully resolved until next week, the BBC reported.

People who contacted the health service on Friday were warned of delays as the outage affected all four counties in the UK. The perpetrators are understood to be cybercriminals rather than state-sponsored.

An NHS spokesman said: “NHS 111 services are still available for patients who are ill, but as always, if it is an emergency please call 999.

“There is currently minimal disruption and the NHS will continue to monitor the situation as it works with Advanced to resolve their software system as quickly as possible – tested contingency plans are in place for local areas using this service.”

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The cuts are the latest to hit the NHS as the health service faces the worst staffing crisis in its history. MPs have called for action to address critical gaps in almost every area of ​​care as it struggles to keep up with demand.

Scotland’s Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf, said that while plans were in place to mitigate the impact, there would be some level of disruption.

“The ministers are continuously briefed on [the] cyber incident affecting NHS systems across the UK,” Yousaf said. “We are working closely together on a four-nation basis to coordinate our resilience where appropriate.”

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Javed Iqbal

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