Health chief says sorry after NHS Lanarkshire cyber attack

Hairmyres Hospital was among the facilities affected. Picture: JP file
Hairmyres Hospital was among the facilities affected. Picture: JP file
Share this article
0
Have your say

A health board chief has apologised after a malware attack led to procedures and appointments being cancelled.

The source of the attack against IT systems at NHS Lanarkshire has been identified, but patients attending hospital or out-of-hours services over the weekend have been warned that waiting times may be longer than normal.

READ MORE: GPs and hospitals affected in cyber attack
The attack began on Friday night and health board said it “took immediate action” to prevent the spread of the malicious software, which can be triggered by anyone clicking on a infected web link.

NHS Lanarkshire chief executive Calum Campbell said on Saturday: “We have identified the source of the malware and investigations are ongoing as to how this was able to infiltrate our network.

“Our staff have worked hard to minimise the impact on patients and our contingency plans have ensured we have been able to continue to deliver services while the IT issues were resolved. A small number of systems have been affected and these are in the process of being fixed.

“Unfortunately a small number of procedures and appointments have been cancelled as a result of the incident. I would like to apologise to anyone who has been affected by this disruption, however I can assure you that work is already under way to reappoint patients.

“The majority of services have been restored but it may take some time to get services running as normal. We would ask patients who are attending hospital or out-of-hours services over the weekend to bear with us as they may experience longer than waits than usual.”

The board had previously asked patients not to attend hospital unless their visit is “essential”, adding that people who arrive at accident and emergency departments who do not need emergency care could be turned away or face a lengthy wait.

The health board’s estate includes Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, Monklands Hospital in Airdrie and Wishaw General Hospital.