Scots Health Boards Targeted By Hackers

12 May 2017, 17:49

Hacker stock image

Several health boards in Scotland have confirmed they are affected by the cyber attack that has hit NHS England.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Dumfries and Galloway and NHS Forth Valley said some of their GP surgeries have been caught up in the incident.

NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Western Isles also confirmed they have been affected.

The situation across Scotland is currently being monitored closely.

The first health board to confirm it had been affected was Dumfries and Galloway, which said three GP surgeries in the region were hit.

A spokesman said: "Three GP practices have been initially affected and we are taking precautionary measures to prevent any others being affected.''

He declined to name the practices involved and said the board is ``comfortable and confident'' with the steps taken, but added: "We don't know what we're dealing with.

"We are monitoring the situation here, as are all health boards in Scotland.''

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said in a statement: "We can confirm that four GP practices have experienced disruption to their IT systems today.

"The rest of NHSGGC is unaffected.''

NHS Forth Valley said some GP and dental surgeries had been hit by the problem.

"We can confirm that a small number of GP and dental practices in the Forth Valley area have experienced disruption to their IT systems which may be linked to the wider IT issues affecting parts of NHS England.

"Steps have been taken to isolate their IT systems to minimise the risk of any virus spreading to other parts of the NHS. The practices affected remain open and have put in place contingency arrangements.''

An NHS Western Isles spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that we have been affected but can't confirm to what extent at the moment.

"We do have systems in place to cover all emergencies.''

NHS Grampian and NHS Ayrshire and Arran said they are monitoring the situation.

John Wright, director for corporate support services at Ayrshire, said: "NHS Ayrshire & Arran is aware of the reported cyber attacks which appear to have affected NHS services in England and a number of national services across Scotland.

"Our IT security team are closely monitoring our networks to identify any suspicious activity.

"We will continue to do so over the coming days in order to minimise any possible impact on services.

"We are also in contact with the National Services Centre who are co-ordinating the situation on behalf of NHS Scotland.

NHS Lanarkshire said only patients requiring emergency treatment should attend hospital at the current time.

In a statement, the health board said: "NHS Lanarkshire along with other boards across the UK is currently experiencing a ransomware attack to its IT network. IT specialists are working to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.

"As a precaution, NHS Lanarkshire is closing down its non-essential networked IT systems on a temporary basis.

"All our sites remain open, however we are appealing to members of the public only to attend hospital for emergency treatment during this period.''

NHS Tayside said 10 GP practices in the region, which were not using an NHS Tayside IT system, have been affected.

A spokeswoman said: "No NHS Tayside systems or hospital sites have been affected by today's UK-wide cyber attack. There is no impact on NHS Tayside's emergency departments or out-of-hours service.

"However, we are aware that the IT systems at 10 GP practices across Tayside, which operate on a non-NHS Tayside system, have been affected. Our eHealth team is working with the GPs to resolve the issue as soon as possible.''

NHS Lanarkshire said only patients requiring emergency treatment should attend hospital at the current time.

In a statement, the health board said: ''NHS Lanarkshire along with other boards across the UK is currently experiencing a ransomware attack to its IT network. IT specialists are working to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.

''As a precaution, NHS Lanarkshire is closing down its non-essential networked IT systems on a temporary basis.

''All our sites remain open, however we are appealing to members of the public only to attend hospital for emergency treatment during this period.''

NHS Tayside said 10 GP practices in the region, which were not using an NHS Tayside IT system, have been affected.

A spokeswoman said: ''No NHS Tayside systems or hospital sites have been affected by today's UK-wide cyber attack. There is no impact on NHS Tayside's emergency departments or out-of-hours service.

''However, we are aware that the IT systems at 10 GP practices across Tayside, which operate on a non-NHS Tayside system, have been affected. Our eHealth team is working with the GPs to resolve the issue as soon as possible.''

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to chair a resilience meeting on the issue.

Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison said: ''We are aware of a number of health boards affected by potential cyber incidents and the First Minister will chair a resilience meeting shortly.

''Scottish Government health officials are currently working closely with affected boards to assess the extent of the problem, and take steps to isolate affected systems, which have been affected by a Ransomware cyber attack of the kind which has also affected health trusts in NHS England.

''We are taking immediate steps to minimise the impact of the attack across NHS Scotland and restrict any disruption.

''Our priority is to ensure that boards are supported to deal with this incident swiftly, and that services to patients can continue to run effectively.''