NHS providers in the North East and North Cumbria are reassuring patients and the public following the cyber attack which took place on Friday and affected many organisations around the world.
A number of NHS organisations in the North East and North Cumbria have been directly affected by the virus and had to completely shut down IT systems yesterday.
These include: Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and primary care providers (GP services) across the region
Those NHS organisations in the region who were not directly affected by the virus also closed their external servers yesterday as a precautionary step to ensure the virus could not spread.
NHS staff in the region who work remotely are being reminded not to switch on NHS laptops or computers until confirmed by their line manager.
All services in the region are running as usual with effective business continuity plans in action to ensure safe patient care at all times. NHS staff across the region are working incredibly hard to ensure IT systems which have been directly affected can be restored as safely and effectively as possible.
The public are being asked to help the NHS to relieve pressure on the system at this time:
Please do not attend A&E or dial 999 unless it is a serious or life threatening emergency
The NHS 111 service is under increased pressure so please think carefully before accessing urgent medical help
Remember many common illnesses can be best looked after at home with over the counter medication, plenty of fluids, rest and recuperation
High street pharmacists are open this weekend and can help if you start to feel unwell with a cough, cold or other minor ailment or injury
Parents and carers of under fives can get medical advice on a range of common childhood illnesses from the ‘NHS Child Health’ app available from Google Play or the App store.
The region’s NHS is keen to reassure people that all services are running and people should continue to access emergency services in the usual way if there is a genuine need for urgent medical help.
Those attending the region’s emergency departments or calling 999 for an emergency ambulance with minor problems should expect a longer wait than usual given the current IT pressures and as clinical teams must prioritise those with time critical needs.
NHS staff in the region are being thanked for their tremendous efforts to continue providing safe patient care in these difficult circumstances. NHS organisations have been overwhelmed with messages of support from off duty staff - any staff who are able to help this weekend should contact their line manager in the first instance.