Patients urged to be patient as Richmondshire NHS services affected by global cyber attack

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Local NHS services in Richmondshire have been affected by the global cyber attack.

Although the malware has not infected local servers, NHS staff including GPs have been told not to switch on their computers.

NHS officials in the district say the attack is causing huge problems with staff unable to access their computers to see patient records.

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The Central Dales Practice, which has surgeries in Hawes and Aysgarth, issued a statement today.

It said: “We will be open as usual tomorrow but will not be able to access anything with your patient record. This means we can’t see discharge letters, medications etc. If you need to be seen by a GP tomorrow please bear with us.

“If you need to see a GP following a hospital appointment or discharge, please bring any paperwork you have with you. It would also help to bring your repeat medication list with you.

“With regards to nurse appointments, we will be unable to process and send bloods, unable to undertake chronic disease reviews etc.

“If you have an appointment tomorrow and it isn’t urgent, we would be grateful if you could contact us and we will take your details to call you back to re-arrange your appointment just as soon as we can.

“We don’t have access to practice emails either so if you have emailed us since early Friday afternoon we won’t have actioned your email as we lost access Friday afternoon.

“If you have requested repeat medication since Friday lunchtime these may not have been issued – please bear with us, we are doing our best.”

Dr Mike Brookes, at Reeth Medical Centre, says patients should only come to the surgery on Monday morning if it is urgent.

He said: “The practice computer systems will still be down at least for the first part of Monday morning.

“We will try to maintain our usual nursing service, but please only come to the morning GP surgery if your problem is urgent.

“There may be a delay for prescriptions ordered on line over the weekend. Please telephone us if you think this will cause you any difficulties.”

Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commission group said GP practices would be open as usual tomorrow.

However it said many were still bringing their IT and clinical systems back on-line following the cyber-attack, which took place on Friday and affected many organisations around the world.

Some practices will not yet have full access to patient records, prescriptions, appointment systems and in some cases telephone systems.

However, the CCG said all GP practices will be using well-tested contingency plans to ensure that services can continue to be provided.

The NHS is asking patients to continue to use the NHS wisely and remember that they can seek help and advice from a range of other sources, such as pharmacies or 111.

What you can do to help:
  • If you already have a GP appointment booked for tomorrow, this will go ahead. Please do not ring your surgery to check as they will be extremely busy and attend for your appointment as normal.
  • People who have GP appointments should turn up as normal unless they are contacted directly and told not to.
  • If you need to book an urgent GP appointment on Monday morning, you will be able to do so but please bear with us if you have difficulty in getting through to your practice and keep trying.
  • Please bear in mind that practices may be running more slowly than usual if they are unable to access some of their systems and the public are asked to be patient with staff.
  • All phone lines for GP practices are working.  However there is a possibility that practices that use electronic call queuing systems may be affected.  In this instance patients may experience some delays in getting through.  If this happens, keep trying to get through whilst NHS IT technicians work to resolve the problem.
  • Other NHS services are running effective business continuity plans to ensure safe patient care at all times.

Hospitals have continued to treat patients throughout the weekend and are working hard to return to normal services, officials say.

However, they are still likely to be very busy, so please only use Accident and Emergency (A&E) services and 999 only when there is a genuine emergency.

Those attending planned hospital appointments should attend as usual unless they are directly advised otherwise.