NHS cyber attack forces hospitals to cancel operations

Crucial operations were cancelled at a number of UK hospitals following a cyber attack. The incident left some hospital departments unable to connect to their main servers.

The attack took place on Monday, June 2, emails from senior members of staff showed. Patients were referred to other hospitals due to the chaos, with London-based hospital trusts among the first hit, reports MirrorOnline. Those affected were King's College and Guy's and St Thomas' trusts.

Transplant surgeries were also cancelled at Harefield and Royal Brompton. The attack resulted in a critical incident being declared.

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Surgeries involving blood transfusion were also halted by staff after Synnovis, an IT firm which is contracted to serve NHS pathology labs, was hit. An email sent to staff spoke on the delivery of services having a "major impact".

The memo read: "This is having a major impact on the delivery of our services, with blood transfusions being particularly affected. Some activity has already been cancelled or redirected to other providers at short notice as we prioritise the clinical work that we are able to safely carry out."

The email continued: "I recognise how upsetting this is for patients and families whose care has been affected, and how difficult and frustrating this is for you all. I am very sorry for the disruption this is causing.

"An incident response structure has been stood up, with colleagues from across the Trust meeting regularly to assess the situation and put contingency plans into place." It added: "While we do not yet know all the details or how long this issue will take to resolve we will keep you updated through the usual routes, including through the clinical alert system."

It follows news of a cyber attack at a Scottish health board last month, in which a "large volume" of stolen data was reportedly published on the dark web. NHS Dumfries and Galloway was hit by the attack, which was branded an "utterly abhorrent criminal act" by chief executive Julie White.

Guy's & St Thomas' and King's College Hospital Trusts were contacted for comment.