Warning of NHS 111 delays after cyberattack causing computer system crash

People seeking medical help through the NHS 111 service have been warned of delays due to a “major” IT system failure caused by a cyberattack.

The issue affects the system used to refer patients to care, including ambulance dispatch, out-of-hours appointments and emergency prescriptions.

The “security issue” was identified around 7 a.m. Thursday, software and services provider Advanced said, and said it may not be fully resolved until next week.

The Welsh Ambulance Service described the outage as ‘significant’, ‘major’ and ‘far reaching’ and said it affected all four nations of the UK.

The ambulance service said partners across Wales had “developed and rolled out plans to keep services running”.

He warned the weekend will be a busier time than usual for NHS 111 Wales and said that while the capacity to respond to calls is ‘maximised’ by the ambulance service and local health boards , “it may take longer to respond to calls and we thank the public for their patience”.

A spokeswoman for NHS England said NHS 111 services are still available and there is “minimum disruption at this time”.

They said “tested contingency plans are in place for local areas using this service”.

We are continuing to work with the NHS and health and care organisations…focused on recovering all systems over the weekend and early next week

Simon Court, Advanced

A Scottish Government spokesperson said it was aware of the reported disruption to one of NHS Scotland’s IT provider systems and was “working with all health boards in collaboration on a four-month basis. nations with the National Cyber ​​Security Center and the vendor to fully understand the potential impact.”

He said “continuity plans” were in place.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Department of Health said they were working to minimize disruption.

He said: “As a precaution, to avoid any risk to other critical systems and services, access to company services from the HSC (health and social care system) has been disabled, the time that the incident is contained.

“Business contingency measures have been put in place for affected HSC organizations and areas.”

Simon Short, chief operating officer at Advanced, confirmed the incident was related to a cyberattack and said he had taken steps to contain the attack, adding that “no other issues were detected. “.

He said: “Early intervention by our incident response team limited this issue to a small number of servers representing 2% of our health and care infrastructure. The protection of services and data is paramount in the actions we have and take.

“We continue to work with the NHS and health and care organizations as well as our technology and security partners, with a focus on recovering all systems over the weekend and early next week. .

“In the meantime, these services impacted by the NHS will continue to operate [using contingency].”

Gordon K. Morehouse