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Important update for patients at Northumbria Healthcare

Tuesday, 16 May, 2017
Important update for patients at Northumbria Healthcare

Due to on-going recovery from the global cyber-attack which happened on Friday 12 May and affected a number of organisations around the world, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is expecting further disruption to planned services this week.

The trust would like to reassure patients that all urgent and emergency care services are running, however these services are extremely busy. The public should continue to heed advice that A&E is for those with serious or life-threatening emergencies only to help ease pressure on busy front-line teams. The trust thanks the public for listening to these messages and using services wisely during this time.

As the trust safely restores all clinical systems, further disruption to planned services is expected on Wednesday 17 May as follows:

· 21 planned routine operations (19 orthopaedic and 2 general surgery) have been postponed and these patients have been informed

The trust sincerely apologises to patients who have been affected by this disruption to planned services this week and would like to thank staff for their unwavering commitment to keep services running safely for patients. Any patients affected by the disruption to planned services can contact the trust via 0344 811 8118. Lines are open:

· 8am until 8pm Monday to Friday
· 9am until 5pm on Saturday and Sunday

Northumbria Healthcare was one of the first organisations in the North East to be hit by the virus and despite having the most up-to-date antivirus protection available, the trust was infected on PCs that the ‘patch’ did not cover. The trust took immediate steps which meant there was minimal infection and is now taking maximum opportunity to ensure systems are safe as they are turned back on.

The trust also quickly alerted all other NHS organisations in the region including primary care services, who were then able to quickly isolate or take additional steps to protect their systems where applicable.

Once infected, the trust worked with its antivirus protection provider on Friday night to help them understand and develop the updated antivirus and patches required which have subsequently been deployed over the weekend across the NHS and other organisations around the world.

Given the size and complexity of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which provides services across multiple hospital sites, hundreds of community venues, in people’s own homes, as well as adult social care services, the trust is taking a controlled, stage by stage approach to safely restore clinical systems.


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