Lincolnshire

Appointments cancelled at Lincolnshire hospitals in fourth day of cyber attack chaos

This story is over

Lincolnshire hospitals and GPs are bracing themselves for another day of chaos, four days after they were hit by a large-scale ransomware attack.

Routine activity at Lincoln, Boston, Grantham and Louth has been suspended on Monday, May 15 as work continues to restore IT systems.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust said in a statement: “Due to the ongoing issues relating to the cyber attack on the NHS on Friday, we will be cancelling all routine activity in our hospitals on Monday, May 15.

“Work is ongoing to restore our IT systems, but in the meantime we are unable to proceed with many of the appointments scheduled for the day.

“Outpatient appointments, diagnostic tests and routine operations will all be cancelled.

“Our teams will be in touch directly with anyone whose appointment is able to go ahead as scheduled.

“Chemotherapy treatments at Lincoln and Boston will go ahead as planned, as will all antenatal and maternity scan appointments at Lincoln, Boston and Grantham.

“We appreciate this situation is causing frustration and anxiety for our patients, but we would like to reassure patients that we will be in touch with them to re-arrange appointments once our IT system is restored.

“Thank you to our staff and patients for their support and understanding during this time.”

Clinical Commissioning groups responsible for the running of GP surgeries in the county have also warned that previously booked routine appointments will not be available.

South Lincolnshire CCG said in a statement: “Please do not attend your GP practice on Monday 15 May unless it is an emergency, previously booked routine appointments will not be available. Similarly, please do not use online booking to make an appointment as the practice will not be able to see the booking.

“We need to give practices time to get their systems running again – until this happens your GP/practice nurse will not be able to access or record in your notes or print prescriptions. They will not be able to give you test results, provide sick notes or issue repeat prescriptions.

“You should visit or call your pharmacy as usual for prescriptions, including repeat prescriptions (please take your current medication with you), and minor illnesses.”

The message being displayed on NHS computer systems.

Almost 50 NHS trusts were affected by Friday’s cyber attack, including all Lincolnshire hospital trusts and a number of community services and GPs.

Staff faced a pop-up alert on their computers stating that files were being held at ransom. Messages then asked for payments in the form of bitcoin in order to release the data.

The virus, known as Wannacry, led to the cancellation of outpatient appointments, endoscopies, CT and MRI scans in Lincolnshire. Patients were also told to avoid A&E other than in life-threatening circumstances.

Cyber security experts have warned that the ransomware virus could be reactivated by computers and devices that have not yet been switched on as services begin another working week.