NHS systems across Harrogate District still restricted following cyber-attack

NHS staff across the Harrogate District are still under strict regulations following the wide scale cyber-attack to ensure patient data is not compromised.

Monday, 15th May 2017, 5:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th May 2017, 1:38 pm
Staff at Harrogate District NHS Foundation Trust were not affected by the attack.

Harrogate and District Foundation Trust (HDFT) published updates on Twitter last night (May 14), warning staff not to use their emails and the NHS VPN system.

Clinical systems can be accessed and patient appointments at Harrogate District Hospital are going ahead, but restrictions are still in place until further notice.

Staff at HDFT were not affected by the virus, but the Trust shut down all internal IT systems as a precautionary measure when the attack first hit, on Friday (May 12).

Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group (HaRD CCG) have not yet confirmed or denied whether any of the 17 GP surgeries across the district were affected

A spokesperson for HaRD CCG said: "Some practices will not yet have full access to patient records, prescriptions, appointment systems and in some cases telephone systems.

"However, 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.

Patients have been urged not to call their GP practices unnecessarily and to attend booked appointments as usual.

The CCG warned that surgeries are likely to be extremely busy and running more slowly than usual while IT systems are gradually brought back online.

All phone lines for GP practices are working, however patients have been warned that where practices use electronic call queuing systems, there may be some delays in getting through.

Similar advice has been published in the case of the Districts hospitals in both Harrogate and Ripon.

A spokesperson for HaRD CCG said: "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.

"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."

Care providers who are unable to contact any affected out of hours GP or NHS emergency service can call North Yorkshire County Council's emergency duty team on 01609 780780.