Ministers coordinate ‘resilience response’ after ‘major’ cyberattack hits NHS systems across UK | UK News
Ministers are coordinating a “resilience response” to deal with a cyberattack affecting NHS systems across the UK.
Scottish Health Minister Humza Yousaf said ministers were being “continuously briefed” on the incident and were “working closely together on a four-nation basis” to organize a response.
“Plans are in place to mitigate the impact, but there will be some level of disruption,” he said.
People seeking medical help through the NHS 111 service have been warned there could be delays after the attack caused a “major” computer system outage.
The security issue was identified as of 7am Thursday morning and has impacted the system used to dispatch ambulances, book after-hours appointments and write emergency prescriptions.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay said he was “regularly briefed on the incident” affecting NHS 111 services across the UK.
“NHS England has contingency plans in place in affected areas and the disruption to service is minimal,” he said.
“Anyone who is ill can still use the emergency number 111 or should call the emergency number 999 in an emergency.”
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There are fears that these technical difficulties may not be fully resolved until next week.
The Welsh Ambulance Service says the outage is significant and widespread – affecting all four nations in the UK.
Although it has “developed and put in place plans to allow services to continue operating” this weekend for 111 in Wales is expected to be busier than usual – and calls may take longer to be answered.
NHS England says 111 services are still available and there is “minimal disruption at this time”, with “established contingency plans”.
A Scottish Government spokesman said he was aware of the reported disruption of a system used by one of NHS Scotland’s suppliers, adding that it was working with other health authorities and the National Cyber Security Center “to identify any possible problems.” to fully understand the implications”.
The Department of Health of Northern Ireland is also working to keep disruptions to a minimum and steps have been taken to avoid the risk of other critical systems and services being affected.
Advanced, the software and service provider hit by the cyberattack, said the issue was confined to “a small number of servers” that make up 2% of its health and care infrastructure.
Chief Operating Officer Simon Short added: “We continue to work with the NHS and health and care authorities, as well as our technology and security partners, and are focused on restoring all systems over the weekend and early next week.”