Tayside GP practices affected by NHS cyber-attack running as normal

A patient appointment letter from an NHS hospital, next to a virus and spyware warning message on a laptop screen at a home in London, following a major cyber attack on NHS computer systems. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 13, 2017. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
A patient appointment letter from an NHS hospital, next to a virus and spyware warning message on a laptop screen at a home in London, following a major cyber attack on NHS computer systems. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 13, 2017. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Doctors surgeries in Tayside affected by the UK-wide NHS cyber-attack are now “operating as normal”.

The IT systems at 10 GP practices across Tayside, which operate independently of NHS Tayside’s systems, were affected by the attack.

NHS Tayside’s IT team helped the 10 practices and they are now running as standard.

A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said: “All 10 GP practices affected by the UK-wide cyber attack are now operating as normal with no disruption to appointments and services.

“Patients should continue to attend and contact their GP Practice in the usual way.

“No NHS Tayside systems or hospital sites were affected by the cyber attack and there was no impact on NHS Tayside’s Emergency Departments, outpatient clinics or Out-of-Hours Service.

“Again, any patient with a hospital appointment should attend as normal.

“NHS Tayside takes IT security and data protection very seriously and we continually monitor and review our level of protection and invest in our IT security defences.

“Our security protection methods have prevented significant impact of this attack within our organisation.”​

The cyber attack which hit the NHS was a ransomware attack which encrypts files on a user’s computer, blocking them from view and threatening to delete them unless a payment is made.

The virus is usually covertly installed on computers via innocent-looking emails containing links which users are tricked into opening.

Once opened, the malware can install itself on a system without the user’s knowledge.

The virus is then able to encrypt files and block user access to them, displaying a pop-up window onscreen telling users they have been blocked and demanding payment.

It is possible to remove ransomware without payment by using advanced anti-malware software.