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Cyber attack hits major London hospitals | #ransomware | #cybercrime

At King’s College, elective surgeries have been cancelled and there are delays of up to 10 hours for blood tests in A&E. The Telegraph has been told the delays are a result of lab workers being ordered to manually enter blood test results into the system.

NHS staff are understood to have been told to only carry out emergency blood tests and to turn people away from emergency departments if they attend after their routine appointments are cancelled.

There are also severe delays to discharging patients, with staff warned that the disruption is likely to continue for several weeks rather than days.

Oliver Dowson, a 70-year-old patient, was prepared for an operation from 6am on June 3 at Royal Brompton Hospital in London when he was told by a surgeon at about 12.30pm that it would not be going ahead.

He said: “The staff on the ward didn’t seem to know what had happened – just that many patients were being told to go home and wait for a new date.”

Vanessa Welham, from Streatham, south-west London, said her husband’s blood test at the Gracefield Gardens health centre on Monday evening had been cancelled and he was told local centres would not take bookings for an “indefinite period of time”.

Mark Dollar, the Synnovis chief executive, apologised to patients affected by the attack and said it had been reported to police and the Information Commissioner. He said the firm “takes cybersecurity very seriously” and had “invested heavily” in ensuring its IT systems were safe.

“This is a harsh reminder that this sort of attack can happen to anyone at any time and that, dispiritingly, the individuals behind it have no scruples about who their actions might affect,” he added.

Synnovis was formed from a partnership between SynLab UK and Ireland, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 

It is the second attack to hit part of the Synlab group this year after its Italian subsidiary was targeted by a group called Black Basta, believed to operate from Russia.

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