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Cyberattack on NHS 111 service leaves staff using pen and paper


Cyberattack on NHS 111 service leaves staff using pen and paper

  • Call handlers in 85% of England had to use pen and paper
  • Many NHS 111 staff do not have access to GP records
  • Also do not have access to NHS numbers and cannot make electronic reservations
  • The software went offline at 7 a.m. Thursday and could be until next week

The NHS 111 service has been thrown into chaos by a cyberattack, severely limiting the assistance provided to patients.

Call handlers in 85% of the country will be without a crucial computer system for several days and will have to resort to pen and paper.

Many non-emergency department staff do not have access to GP records or patient NHS numbers and cannot make direct electronic bookings with A&Es and GPs.

The Adastra software was taken offline at 7 a.m. Thursday and staff have been told it may no longer work until next week. Advanced, which provides the service, confirmed last night that the problems were caused by a cyberattack.

Call handlers in 85% of the country will be without a crucial IT system for several days and will have to resort to pen and paper (stock image)

However, he says he managed to limit the damage to a small number of his servers. As well as NHS 111, the system is used by some out-of-hours GP services and has also been marketed to emergency care providers.

A briefing note from commissioners in London, seen by the Health Service Journal, described the issue as a ‘total system failure’ for NHS 111 and said ‘likely delays for patients…will continue throughout weekend and potentially next week.

The issue affects bookings, prescriptions and limiting the information NHS 111 can pass on to ambulance services.

NHS England said there was no indication that patient data had been compromised.

Cyberattack on NHS 111 service leaves staff using pen and paper

The issue affects bookings, prescribing and limiting the information NHS 111 can pass to ambulance services (stock image)

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