A cyberattack on a medical service can have devastating results
A cyberattack on a medical service can have devastating results

The National Health Service's Lincolnshire and Goole trust has been crippled by a cyber-attack. Malware apparently infected networks in Scunthorpe and Grimsby on 30 October; the trust then took the decision to shut down all major systems within the shared IT network to isolate and destroy what the Trust described as a  virus.

As a result, operations have been cancelled in hospitals across Lincolnshire and A&E departments all over the region are expecting delays.   A release on the front page of the Trust's website says “Our main priority is patient safety. A major incident has been called and all planned operations, outpatient appointments and diagnostic procedures have been cancelled for today (Tuesday).”

Patients who had a scheduled operation on Tuesday November 1 have been told to presume it has been cancelled, unless they are contacted. A select number of services will continue; inpatients will continue to be looked after and patients who would be at “significant clinical risk should their treatment be delayed”, will also be treated. The trust is apparently reviewing the situation on an  hourly basis.

The shutdown has affected Goole and District Hospital, Scunthorpe General Hospital and Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital