No Patient Data Lost In Scotland

15 May 2017, 10:14

Cyber security

No patient data has been lost in the ransomware attack on Scottish NHS computer systems, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Eleven health boards as well as NHS National Services and the Scottish Ambulance Service were affected in an unprecedented cyber attack which hit scores of countries on Friday.

The attack impacted on acute hospital sites in Lanarkshire, as well as GP surgeries, dental practices and other primary care centres around the country.

Systems in Scotland were expected to be recovered by Monday and the First Minister said more than 120 public bodies have been contacted to ensure their defences are adequate.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Ms Sturgeon said: "A big priority over the weekend has been making sure NHS boards are minimising the impact on patients.

"One thing that is very important to stress is that there is no evidence that there has been any patient data compromised, so patient confidentiality hasn't been affected, but of course there will have been an impact on patients with some appointments cancelled.''

An investigation is under way to identify the cause of the attack and ministers are to convene an extraordinary meeting of the National Cyber Resilience leaders' board on Tuesday to review the response to the breach.

Ms Sturgeon said she was not aware of any ransoms being paid over the cyber attack but said that will be part of the police investigation.

A "range'' of Windows operation systems are used by the NHS in Scotland and Ms Sturgeon said there is regular investment in cyber security.

She told the Good Morning Scotland programme: "We invest heavily in cyber resistance. The Scottish Government, in the NHS, invests round about #100 million a year. NHS boards will collectively invest a similar amount.''

"We expect systems, by and large, to be up and running today, obviously there will be ongoing work to learn lessons about what has happened.''

The First Minister added: "All organisations returning to work today should follow advice and make sure they are taking all appropriate steps.

"The Scottish Government has been coordinating a process over the weekend of contacting round about 120 public sector organisations to make sure that these messages have got out there strongly.

"Private sector companies are obviously vulnerable as well and I think there is a concern that as people switch on their computers we may see more impact from the virus but we will be working as hard as we can to minimise that.''