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Ministers coordinate ‘restore response’ after ‘major’ cyberattack on NHS systems across UK | UK News




Ministers are coordinating a “resilient response” to address cyberattacks affecting NHS systems across the UK.

Health Minister Humja Yousaf said the ministers were “continuously briefed” about the incident and “are working closely with the four countries to develop a response.”

“There are plans to mitigate the impact, but there will be some confusion,” he said.

People requesting medical assistance through the NHS 111 service have been warned that the attack could result in delays after a “critical” computer system outage.

The security issue was identified Thursday morning at 7am and affected systems used to dispatch ambulances, schedule overtime appointments, and issue emergency prescriptions.

Health Minister Steve Barclay said “we are receiving regular reports of incidents” affecting NHS 111 services across the UK.

“NHS England has contingency plans in the affected areas and service disruptions are minimal,” he said.

“People who are not feeling well can still use 111 services and should call 999 in an emergency.”

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There are concerns that these technical difficulties will not be fully resolved until next week.

The Welsh ambulance service said the outages were severe and widespread and affected all four countries in the UK.

We have “developed and deployed plans to ensure that the service continues to work”, but this weekend will be busier than usual at 111 in Wales and may take longer to answer calls.

NHS England said the 111 service is still available, with “minimal disruptions for now” and “a tried and tested contingency plan in place”.

A Scottish government spokesperson added that NHS Scotland is aware of the reported outages of systems used by one of its suppliers and is working with other health commissions and national cybersecurity centers to “fully understand the potential impact”.

Northern Ireland’s Department of Health is also working to minimize disruptions and has taken steps to avoid risking other critical systems and services being impacted.

Advanced, a software and service provider impacted by cyberattacks, said the issue is contained in “a handful of servers” that make up 2% of its health and healthcare infrastructure.

“We are continuing to work with the NHS, healthcare and healthcare organizations, technology and security partners, and are focused on restoring all systems over the weekend and early next week,” said Simon Short, COO.




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