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NHS cyber attack: James Paget Hospital in Gorleston recovers from international cyber attack

PUBLISHED: 10:31 15 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:59 16 May 2017

A screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File

A screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File

The effects of a large-scale cyber attack are still being felt throughout the region’s NHS services today, as healthcare providers try to get back on their feet.

At James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, patients are being told to attend appointments as usual today, but the hack was still having an impact as staff worked with paper processes and parking was free on Monday as the car park barrier - controlled by the computer system - was up.

Today, the barrier has been repaired and parking is no longer free

Some of the systems are thought to be back online, but work is still ongoing.

James Paget University Hospital. Picture: James Bass James Paget University Hospital. Picture: James Bass

MORE: James Paget Hospital in Gorleston affected by national large-scale NHS cyber attack

Patients arriving at the hospital’s accident and emergency department are reportedly being told they will have to fill out a registration form.

But the message from the hospital is to not go to A&E unless it is absolutely necessary, as waiting times are expected to be longer.

A JPUH spokesman said: “Staff have been working throughout the weekend to restore our IT systems. Established back up plans are continuing to ensure we effectively support safe patient care. Members of staff arriving for work this morning will be assisting our clinical teams so patient care delays can be limited.

Graham Wilde, chief operating officer of the James Paget Hospital. Graham Wilde, chief operating officer of the James Paget Hospital.

MORE: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visits James Paget Hospital in Gorleston to talk about cyber attack

“Most surgery and outpatient appointments are going ahead as normal. Patients have been informed, where possible, if their operation or outpatient appointment has been postponed.

“A&E is dealing with emergencies. Any patients with less serious illnesses are likely to wait considerably longer until we return to fully electronic systems.”

MORE: All weekend appointments cancelled at James Paget Hospital in Gorleston

Chief Operating Officer Graham Wilde added: “I would like to thank all our staff and partners who have been working together to resolve this situation. A large number of IT systems were brought back on line over the weekend with more being rolled out today as we get back to normal working.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, to talk about the international cyber attack which hit the hospital. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, to talk about the international cyber attack which hit the hospital. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

“I am very proud of our staff for what they have done in giving up their weekend to focus on our patients and making sure our manual systems are as effective as possible. We apologise for the disruption that has been caused.”

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in Norwich was not affected by the attack, neither was the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lyyn.

QEH Medical Director Nick Lyons said: “The Queen Elizabeth Hospital was not affected by Friday’s cyber attack and has continued to operate normally over the weekend.

MORE: What is ransomware and how can it be removed?

“We have received a number of calls from patients this morning who are concerned about their appointments.

“We would like to reassure patients that it is business as usual at the QEH and would urge them to attend their appointments as normal.”

GP surgeries across the region are open as usual today and patients have been advised to attend appointments unless told otherwise, but clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have taken to Twitter to warn phone lines are likely to be busy.

MORE: We must treat cyber crimes like traditional crimes, says Norfolk security expert

It is thought some surgeries have been unable to access test results and patient records.

A spokesman for all five of Norfolk and Waveny’s CCGs said: “We would like to thank patients for supporting the NHS by using services wisely when they have been under pressure.

“Staff at JPUH have continued to see patients and ensure they receive appropriate care, using well-rehearsed procedures. Most surgery and outpatient appointments are going ahead as normal. Patients have been informed, where possible, if their operation or outpatient appointment has been postponed.

“GP practice computers across Norfolk and Waveney were turned off late Friday afternoon as a precaution. Over the weekend, IT staff have been working to ensure all systems had the required software patch installed before re-starting.

“This may cause systems to be slow in places. Patients are asked to be understanding if this is the case. If you have an appointment you should still attend unless contacted by your surgery and told not to.

“Patients who need urgent medical advice can always call 111 or ask their community pharmacy for advice and over the counter remedies for minor illness or injuries.”

More than 200,000 victims in around 150 countries have been infected by the ransomware which originated in the UK and Spain on Friday before spreading globally.

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